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King & Spalding drops DOMA representation

King & Spalding, under pressure from gay activists, has dropped its agreed representation of Congressional officials who want to defend the constitutionality of DOMA. [Adler @ Volokh]

Just so we're clear: it's okay for law firms to represent Islamic terrorists (who, at the end of the day, just want to massacre gays), but House Republicans are beyond the pale.

When law firms were under criticism from Bush administration attorney Cully Stimson for their zealous pro bono representation of Guantanamo detainees, the outrage against Stimson (who was forced to resign) was overwhelming: doesn't he know that everyone deserves a lawyer, and these lawyers are just defending procedural niceties? How dare someone criticize lawyers for representing unpopular clients? Those procedural niceties apparently only apply when the cause is one the left approves of.

Any corporate defendant considering King & Spalding as their attorneys should evaluate closely: apparently, all it takes for that law firm to unethically drop a representation is just a wee bit of political pressure, and if it works for Human Rights Campaign, why not for unions or other activists on the left?

(As I've stated earlier, I disagree with DOMA as a public-policy matter, believe that the Supreme Court will eventually declare it unconstitutional, but believe the politicization of the issue is appalling.)

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.