The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Firm King & Spaulding reverse on deal with House GOP to defend DOMA

Under pressure from gay rights groups, Atlanta-based international law firm King & Spaulding announced it was pulling out of a deal struck with Republican leaders to defend the Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of the House of Representatives.

Iram Martins
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Apr 25, 2011

Table of Contents

    Under pressure from gay rights groups, Atlanta-based international law firm King & Spaulding announced it was pulling out of a deal struck with Republican leaders to defend the Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of the House of Representatives. Paul Clement, the high-powered attorney who spearheaded the arrangement for the firm, has resigned and announced he will now take up the case as a member of conservative-politics-associated firm Bancroft PLLC.

    “In reviewing this assignment…, I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate,” said King & Spaulding chairman Robert Hays in a statement. “Ultimately I am responsible for any mistakes that occurred and apologize for the challenges this may have created.”

    GOP House Speaker John Boehner announced in February that Congress would defend DOMA after the Obama administration announced it would no longer defend the law in court. In a letter to congressional leaders explaining the move, Attorney General Eric Holder said he thought DOMA unconstitutionally discriminated against gay people.

    Christian-right groups like Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family celebrated the arrangement House leaders made with King & Spaulding a week ago, pointing to Clement’s stellar resume and the firm’s global reputation and vast resources.

    Gay-rights advocates like the Human Rights Campaign, however, underlined King & Spaulding’s reputation heretofore as an equal-opportunity employer. HRC announced it would launch a campaign against the firm’s decision to defend DOMA that would include ads in mainstream and legal publications and outreach to the firm’s clients.

    As Amanda Terkel at the Hufffington Post reports, pro-gay law groups were especially concerned with a clause in the contract King & Spaulding signed with the House that barred any of the firm’s attorneys from working to “alter or amend” DOMA, even on a pro-bono basis.

    Read more on the story at the Huffington Post, which has also posted Clement’s resignation letter.

    “I resign out of the firmly-held belief that a representation should not be abandoned because the client’s legal position is extremely unpopular in certain quarters,” he wrote.

    Clement, a former U.S. solicitor general and acting U.S. attorney general, attended Georgetown, Cambridge and Harvard universities. He was a law clerk for conservative Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia.

    *Got a tip? Story pitch? Send us an e-mail. Follow The Colorado Independent on Twitter. *

    Iram Martins | Personal trainer. Aspiring sommelier. Brunch critic who works part-time. When I'm not competing, you'll find me at dog beaches with my black lab or sipping drinks at the best bars in town. I like to fly a lot.


    Giffords shooting leads nation to introspection and political finger wagging

    In the wake of the shooting in Arizona this weekend that critically injured Rep.

    EPA Administrator Addresses Concerns About Oil Spill Waste Management

    At a hearing of the national oil spill commission today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed concerns about waste disposal from

    E-Verify Mandate Begins Today

    The Obama administration today begins implementation of a new mandate to require all federal contractors to check the legal status of their employees to confirm

    EPA administrator defends allowing Florida to write its own water pollution rules

    The EPA seal (Pic via The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire for its decision to allow the state of Florida to write its own water pollution rules (known as “numeric nutrient criteria”). EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is now firing back, writing that the Agency commends the state Department of Environmental Protection for its draft of a proposed standard. A host of environmental groups filed suit in 2008, seeking to compel the EPA to implement a strict set of water pollution standards in Florida, arguing that the state was in violation of the Clean Water Act.

    EPA administrator fires back at critics in op-ed

    EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Pic by USACEpublicaffairs, via Flickr) EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson penned a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times , criticizing House Republicans desperately seeking to undermine the authority of the agency they have dubbed a “job killer.” Arguing that the environment affects red states and blue states alike, Jackson writes that “it is time for House Republicans to stop politicizing our air and water.” As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson has faced harsh criticism from House Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who say the agency’s regulations are an undue burden on businesses that have to cut jobs simply to comply with clean water and air rules. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann  has pledged to end the EPA if she takes office. “Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” writes Jackson.

    EPA administrator says federal nutrient criteria is a ‘myth’

    In testimony given late last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that false accusations about her agency’s numeric nutrient criteria to govern Florida waterways are proving to be a detriment to their implementation. # Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee, Jackson said her agency’s work was often “mischaracterized” and addressed several myths surrounding its work

    EPA announces hold on nutrient standards if Florida can come up with own criteria

    The EPA announced today that it is now prepared to withdraw a portion of its proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards governing water pollution in inland waters) and delay the portion related to estuarine waters, to allow the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop its own criteria. # From a statement released by the EPA earlier today: # EPA recognizes that states have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for their waters. Therefore, EPA is prepared to withdraw the federal inland standards and delay the estuarine standards if FDEP adopts, and EPA approves, their own protective and scientifically sound numeric standards

    EPA Analysis Says Climate Bill’s Cost for Households Would Be ‘Modest’

    All the attention on the energy front today is going to the BP spill, but the Environmental Protection Agency quietly released its long-anticipated analysis of

    EPA and California Near Deal on Fuel Efficiency Standards

    Two weeks ago, the Obama administration raised fuel efficiency standards by an average of two miles per gallon -- a modest change that disappointed some

    © Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

    Terms & Privacy |