Firm Hired To Defend Doma In Court Calls It Quits

Oct 2010
3,095
0
With God....of course!
#1
From NBC's Shawna Thomas and Carrie Dann

The law firm hired by the House of Representatives to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court has decided it will drop its defense of the federal statute, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.




The firm, King and Spalding, had faced protests from gay rights groups after its contract with the House Administration Committee and General Counsel - along with its attached price tag of up to $500,000 -- was reported. The Human Rights Campaign announced a national campaign last week to urge the group to withdraw from the agreement.



The firm had agreed to work on behalf of the GOP-led House after the Obama administration announced earlier this year that the Department of Justice would no longer defend the law, which it says is unconstitutional.



Paul Clement, a former Solicitor General under President George W. Bush and the lead lawyer on the legal team hired to defend DOMA in court, has also resigned from King and Spalding.



In his resignation letter, Clement wrote that his decision was a result of his "firmly-held belief that a representation should not be abandoned because the client's legal position is extremely unpopular in certain quarters."



Clement has joined a new firm, Bancroft PLLC.



House Speaker John Boehner’s office clarified that Clement and his new firm will still defend DOMA for the House of Representatives.



Boehner’s spokesman said today, “The Speaker is disappointed in the firm’s decision and its careless disregard for its responsibilities to the House in this constitutional matter. At the same time, Mr. Clement has demonstrated legal integrity, and we are grateful for his decision to continue representing the House.”



The firm's chairman, Robert Hayes, Jr released the following statement earlier Monday:



"Today the firm filed a motion to withdraw from its engagement to represent the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives on the constitutional issues regarding Section III of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. Last week we worked diligently through the process required for withdrawal.



"In reviewing this assignment further, I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate. Ultimately I am responsible for any mistakes that occurred and apologize for the challenges this may have created."



In his resignation letter, Clement argued, "if there were problems with the firm's vetting process, we should fix the vetting process, not drop the representation."







King and Spalding had just filed a motion to intervene as a defendant on behalf of the House of Representatives on Monday, April 18th.



In a statement, a spokesman for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi praised the firm's decision to drop its defense of the law.



"Leader Pelosi shares Mr. Hays' apparent concerns with the lack of transparency and accountability in the way this contract was signed. She also vigorously opposes using half a million taxpayer dollars or any taxpayer resources to defend discrimination, at a time when Republicans in Congress are cutting critical initiatives like education and infrastructure. It is now more critical than ever that Speaker Boehner fully account for his decision to sign this half million dollar contract to defend this indefensible statue."







*** UPDATE *** In a statement, House Adminstration Committee Chairman Dan Lungren, R-Calif., praised Clement and called King and Spalding's decision to withdraw from its defense of DOMA "an insult to the legal profession."



"I want to express my gratitude to former Solicitor General Clement. I admire his unwavering commitment to his clients and his dedication to uphold the law - qualities that appear to be inconsequential at King and Spalding where politics and profit now appear to come first.



"King and Spalding's cut and run approach is inexcusable and an insult to the legal profession. Less than one week after the contract was approved engaging the firm, they buckled under political pressure and bailed with little regard for their ethical and legal obligations. Fortunately, Clement does not share the same principles. I'm confident that with him at the helm, we will fight to ensure the courts - not the President - determine DOMA's constitutionality."






 
Jul 2007
45,031
6,453
NJ
#2
I know! Why on earth would lawyers know anything about what is Constitutional and what isn't? And why on earth would the top lawyer for the country possibly assume to think that he might be qualified to determine when a law is going to be overturned as being unconstitutional? Why would a federal judge have already decided that DOMA is unconstitutional and why on earth would anyone agree with her about it (like the Attorney General)? And again, why on earth would any party or individual in that party wish to spend 500 million dollars to defend a law that in all likelihood, be knocked down soon, when they so vehemently desire to cut unnecessary government spending?
 
Jun 2008
7,895
10
Northern California
#3
I know! Why on earth would lawyers know anything about what is Constitutional and what isn't? And why on earth would the top lawyer for the country possibly assume to think that he might be qualified to determine when a law is going to be overturned as being unconstitutional? Why would a federal judge have already decided that DOMA is unconstitutional and why on earth would anyone agree with her about it (like the Attorney General)? And again, why on earth would any party or individual in that party wish to spend 500 million dollars to defend a law that in all likelihood, be knocked down soon, when they so vehemently desire to cut unnecessary government spending?


They believe this law is defensible on moral grounds, and they are banking that it will go all the way to The Supreme Court which has been stacked with right wing ideologues who want to take this country back to the dark ages where women and gays are concerned.
 
Jul 2007
45,031
6,453
NJ
#4
They believe this law is defensible on moral grounds, and they are banking that it will go all the way to The Supreme Court which has been stacked with right wing ideologues who want to take this country back to the dark ages where women and gays are concerned.




Those effing regressives! I hate their pseudo-moral attitudes in all things except their own immoral greed and sadism toward all of what they see as the undesirable population.
 
Feb 2007
34,677
16
Los Angeles
#5
From NBC's Shawna Thomas and Carrie Dann



In his resignation letter, Clement wrote that his decision was a result of his "firmly-held belief that a representation should not be abandoned because the client's legal position is extremely unpopular in certain quarters."



Clement has joined a new firm, Bancroft PLLC.



House Speaker John Boehner’s office clarified that Clement and his new firm will still defend DOMA for the House of Representatives.



Boehner’s spokesman said today, “The Speaker is disappointed in the firm’s decision and its careless disregard for its responsibilities to the House in this constitutional matter. At the same time, Mr. Clement has demonstrated legal integrity, and we are grateful for his decision to continue representing the House.”


No big deal the defence of DOMA will continue.



No mention by Clement's old firm that they thought DOMA could not be defended.



It looks like they were victims of threats and intimidation from the Washington branch of the gay mafia.



For the record, DOMA passed with overwhelming majorities in both Houses. Since then 31 states have amended their Constitutions to protect against the vile spectre of homosexual marriage
 
Feb 2007
34,677
16
Los Angeles
#6
I know! Why on earth would lawyers know anything about what is Constitutional and what isn't? And why on earth would the top lawyer for the country possibly assume to think that he might be qualified to determine when a law is going to be overturned as being unconstitutional? Why would a federal judge have already decided that DOMA is unconstitutional and why on earth would anyone agree with her about it (like the Attorney General)?


It's called due process. Rulings are appealed all the time and Federal judges are routinely over-ruled. That's why Obamacare has not been abandoned by your "top lawyer"



The defence of DOMA will continue with the same legal expert at a new firm



As for the Attorney-General, he's the same guy who was going to close down Gitmo within one year and try Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a criminal court in NYC............




And again, why on earth would any party or individual in that party wish to spend 500 million dollars to defend a law that in all likelihood, be knocked down soon, when they so vehemently desire to cut unnecessary government spending?




er make that $500,000 NOT $500 million!!
 
Oct 2010
8,333
8
#7
I've got mixed feelings about this in that I think both parties are right. Clement is correct that even detestable clients deserve legal representation - that's part of what lawyers do. And the bigoted teabaggers in the House are certainly detestable, as is DOMA.

But I completely agree with King & Spalding for not wanting their firm to be associated with a Jim Crow law - the firm even advertises their gay friendly corporate policies on their web site, and they have a number of gay partners and attorneys in the company. I can imagine any attorney who cared about civil rights would have been outraged if their firm chose to defend Jim Crow.
 
Feb 2007
34,677
16
Los Angeles
#8
They believe this law is defensible on moral grounds, and they are banking that it will go all the way to The Supreme Court which has been stacked with right wing ideologues who want to take this country back to the dark ages where women and gays are concerned.


The dark ages? You mean the period of intellectual darkness that occurred in Europe following the decline of the Roman Empire?



I think you're exaggerating again. Homosexuals do very well in all walks of life. Some become members of Congress, others have successful careers in business and the arts.



They are the ones who don't sit around wallowing in self-pity
.



If it gets to the Supreme Court hopefully the alleged lesbian Elena Kagan will recuse herself
 
Feb 2007
34,677
16
Los Angeles
#9
I've got mixed feelings about this in that I think both parties are right. Clement is correct that even detestable clients deserve legal representation - that's part of what lawyers do. But I completely agree with King & Spaulding for not wanting their firm to be associated with a Jim Crow law - the firm even advertises their gay friendly corporate policies on their web site, and they have a number of gay partners and attorneys in the company. I can imagine any attorney who cared about civil rights would have been outraged if their firm chose to defend Jim Crow.


Seems unlikely, they probably have staff who are Muslim would that stop them prosecuting Al Qaeda terrorists?



And why did they sign a contract with Congress to take on the case then suddenly change their minds?



Perhaps threats to their families, car bombings, who knows.
 
Oct 2010
8,333
8
#10
They believe this law is defensible on moral grounds, and they are banking that it will go all the way to The Supreme Court which has been stacked with right wing ideologues who want to take this country back to the dark ages where women and gays are concerned.
I'm not worried at all - DOMA will be rejected at least 5-4 as a denial of equal protection. Given Windsor v US and Gil v OPM, there's no other rational way to rule. And the legislative record proves the motive was animus against gays.