Monday, April 25, 2011

BREAKING: Clement Firm Backs Out of Boehner's DOMA Defense Case

This just in via Ben Smith at

In a real victory for supporters of same-sex marriage -- and marking what seems like real marginalization for its foes -- a major law firm has reversed course and will refuse to represent the House of Representatives in defending the Defense of Marriage Act.
King and Spalding Chairman Robert D. Hays, Jr., whose partner Paul Clement was to lead the defense, said in a statement through a spokesman, Les Zuke:
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.
The statement is silent on the reasons for the decision, but the firm faced protests at its Atlanta office and a national campaign against it. And now the House majority is looking for a new lawyer.
12:00 pm UPDATE:

Paul Clement
Metro Weekly is reporting that Paul Clement, the attorney hired by John Boehner to represent the U.S. Government in its defense of DOMA has resigned from the law firm of King & Spaulding as a result of the firm's decision to drop the case.

LGBT right activists were outraged at King & Spaulding for taking the case in light of the firm's employment diversity policy. Protests took place over the Easter weekend outside the law firm's offices.

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