A proposal to seat the U.S. Virgin Islands in the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates this year failed on Monday, but a lengthy and vigorous debate over it was unexpected.
The delegates tied at 223 in a dramatic vote at their meeting in San Francisco, sending the measure to defeat with a two-thirds margin needed for passage.
Past ABA presidents and others gave passionate speeches before the vote. A show of hands was inconclusive before a count was ordered.
“We’re asking for equality,” said Anthony M. Ciolli, the resolution’s primary sponsor.
“The time is now” to give the Virgin ...