The Human Rights Campaign’s castigating the House leadership for spending $500,000 (and probably much more) to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court cases where its constitutionality is being challenged strikes me as proper. But the group’s criticism of the law firm of King & Spalding for taking the House’s case to defend the constitutionality of DOMA is somewhat grayer. While I don’t know that I would want to hire the firm that’s fighting against my rights, all sides deserve an advocate and I don’t fear a strongly argued case that makes clear what the constitutional issues are.
Update: King & Spalding feels the pressure and withdraws. Firm Partner Paul Clement, a former Solicitor General, resigned in order to continue the defense of DOMA he agreed to undertake. LGBT activists cheered; others warned of a New McCarthyism.
I wish the House wasn’t pandering to social conservatives in holding hearings on the legality of President Obama’s decision not to have the Justice Department support DOMA in court. But I question how constructive HRC’s attack on the hearings (“fixated on beating up on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans”) will be. Democrats are able to call witnesses, too, if they so choose, I believe, so wouldn’t it be more productive to show up and make the best possible case?
Will the LGBT Obama partisans…who for the past two years have assured us that Obama had no choice but to defend DOMA against legal challenges, that he was legally obligated to order his Justice Department to do so, and who maintained that position by dismissing those of us who pointed to contrary precedents, now admit they were wrong?
Needless to say, the view that many of Obama’s supporters took then sounds eerily similar to the position that the House GOP is now taking—and that the pro-Obama folks are excoriating.