The Washington-based law firm, King and Spaulding, who the House Republican Leadership retained to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, to do the job the Obama administration has failed to do, decided today to drop the case saying the vetting process was inadequate.  They in effect has said yes to Gitmo detainees, but no to Congress.  This firm has just proved that bully tactics can work.  William Duncan at National Review points out, accurately I might add, what this news demonstrates:

This tantrum and its seeming success tell us that many on the left believe they have a veto on the principle that everybody deserves to be represented in court. It also suggests that there are few limits on what gay marriage supporters will do to marginalize those with whom they disagree.

This action should make defense lawyers everywhere nervous.  Notice however you have not seen a similar reaction from the right based on the firm’s decision to defend Gitmo detainees.  The law firm’s partner, Former Solicitor Paul Clement, who was going to be the lead counsel for the firm resigned.  He said in a statement that “having undertaken the representation, I believe there is no honorable course for me but to complete it.”

Honorable men – 1, Bullies – 0

More discussion on this here.

1 comment
  1. I have to take some exception to the notion that we as a legal system or government actually believe everyone deserves representation in court. The reality is that we acknowledge the right to representation in the criminal context where every defendant is assured the right to legal representation regardless of their ability to pay. However, in the realm of civil suits (such as the challenge to DOMA) there is no such right. In essence we have a system which only entitles you to representation if you can pay for it and if you can find a lawyer willing to take the case. Arguably, we don’t really believe as a culture that everyone deserves representation, but rather that the government cannot deny anyone representation.

    I disagree with the K & S decision to discontinue representation, given what we know at this time, solely on the grounds that they decided to take the case in the first place. Having made that committment to a client, they shouldn’t abandon the client solely because it will be difficult for them.

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