Law Firm Originally Slated To Defend DOMA Backs Out
April 27, 2011 by Special To Personal Liberty
The law firm hired by the House of Representatives has withdrawn from its role as a defender of the Federal law banning gay marriage.
King & Spalding of Atlanta announced on April 25 that it would no longer argue for the Constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) amid pressure from gay rights groups. GOP members of the House hired the firm just last week to defend the law, which was deemed unConstitutional by President Barack Obama’s administration in February.
Attorney Paul D. Clement, the King & Spalding lawyer who was selected to lead the defense, resigned from the firm in response to its withdrawal. He stated that it was the firm’s duty to complete its assignment regardless of DOMA’s unpopularity among certain segments of the population.
“I recognized from the outset that this statute implicates very sensitive issues that prompt strong views on both sides,” Clement wrote in a letter, quoted by The New York Times. “But having undertaken the representation, I believe there is no honorable course for me but to complete it.”
Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner has responded to criticism expressed by Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who last month blasted the government’s expenses to defend DOMA. In a letter, Boehner said that it is the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) responsibility to fund Congress’ defense of a Federal law.
Considering that the DOJ has been advised by the President to no longer defend DOMA, the government should redirect the funds it would have otherwise used to defend the act to the House’s legal efforts, said Boehner.