GOP-Hired Law Firm Quits DOMA Case

Paul Clement, who was to argue case, resigns from King and Spalding
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2011 12:13 PM CDT
GOP-Hired Law Firm King and Spalding Quits Defense of Marriage Act Case; Paul Clement Resigns
Paul Clement, right, is shown on June 28, 2010 in Washington, DC.   (Getty Images)

The law firm hired by the GOP to defend the Defense of Marriage Act is quitting the case, for reasons it hasn’t specified, notes Politico. “In reviewing this assignment further, I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate,” said King and Spalding’s chairman, Robert D. Hays, Jr. “Ultimately I am responsible for any mistakes that occurred and apologize for the challenges this may have created.”

Protesters had targeted the firm in a national campaign, which saw demonstrations outside the firm’s Atlanta office. Hays’ partner, onetime Bush administration Solicitor General Paul Clement, had been set to lead the defense; he has now resigned from the firm "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. Defending unpopular clients is what lawyers do," he wrote in his resignation letter. "Having undertaken the representation, I believe there is no honorable court for me but to complete it." The firm's withdrawal is "a real victory for supporters of same-sex marriage," writes Ben Smith, and marks "what seems like real marginalization for its foes." (More Paul Clement stories.)

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