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Monday, 1 October, 2001, 22:04 GMT 23:04 UK
Clinton to contest Supreme Court ban
Bill Clinton
Another dent to the former president's image
Bill Clinton is to contest a US Supreme Court decision banning him from practising law before the court, a lawyer for the former president has said.

Mr Clinton was given 40 days to challenge the ruling, which came eight months after he admitted giving false, evasive statements about his relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

The move has little practical effect - Mr Clinton has not practised law for years and is currently writing his memoirs after securing a multi-million dollar deal with a publisher - but it is another blow to his already battered image.

Monica Lewinsky
Clinton's second term was overshadowed by the Lewinsky revelations
There are no fines associated with the action.

The Supreme Court did not explain its reasons for barring the former president, but such a move often follows disbarment in lower courts.

Deal

As part of the deal with an independent counsel looking into the Lewinsky matter, Mr Clinton accepted a five-year suspension of his licence to practise law in his home state, Arkansas, and paid a $25,000 fine.

In turn, the counsel, Robert Ray, promised not to prosecute Mr Clinton when he left office.

The agreement also satisfied the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct, which had moved to disbar Mr Clinton for giving misleading testimony during a case in which he was accused of sexually harassing a woman, Paula Jones.

Honour

Most lawyers who are admitted to the US Supreme Court bar never actually argue a case there, but the right to do so is considered an honour.

Mr Clinton practised law in Arkansas and was governor there before he was elected president in 1992. He moved to New York after he left office but has not applied to practice law there.

On Sunday, Mr Clinton was in the UK, escorting his daughter Chelsea around University College, Oxford.

A spokesman for the Clintons said the former president was "continuing with his travels".

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Tim Franks
"The prestige of the former president has taken another knock"
See also:

07 Aug 01 | Americas
Clinton pens his memoirs
18 Feb 01 | Americas
Clinton defends controversial pardon
26 Jan 01 | Americas
Clinton gifts under scrutiny
19 Jan 01 | Americas
Clinton escapes Lewinsky charges
20 Jan 01 | Americas
Clinton's long goodbye
15 Jan 01 | Americas
A president with a personal touch
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