King & Spalding withdrawal a hollow ‘victory’

NOTE: This builds on a post published earlier. It is posted here as the electronic version of today’s AJC column.

Silk-stocking lawyers tend to cringe when they see their firm’s name in the headlines. It’s one thing if a high-profile client makes the news, but when the firm itself becomes the story, it’s seldom good.

It wasn’t for Atlanta-based King & Spalding, which made national headlines this week. By putting itself in a predicament from which it had no face-saving escape, the firm damaged its own reputation and allowed critics to question its adherence to one of the core values of its profession. Not a good week.

The problem began earlier this month when King & Spalding partner Paul Clement, based in Washington, D.C., agreed to represent House Speaker John Boehner and his colleagues in a case involving the Defense of Marriage Act.

That law, passed in 1996, forbids the federal government from recognizing any marriage other than that between a man and a woman. So while individual states may recognize gay partners as married, they are not married in the eyes of the federal government, a fact that has consequences for everything from taxation to Social Security.

DOMA has always been constitutionally rickety. Defining marriage is a state function, not a federal function, and the Constitution requires that contracts created in one state be honored in all other states. Because DOMA treats gay people differently than heterosexuals, it also violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.

For all those reasons, the Obama administration recently decided it could no longer defend the law from legal challenges. (The law is still being enforced and will remain in effect unless it is overturned.) So Boehner and his House colleagues made the perfectly appropriate decision to step in and hire private attorneys — using House funds — to defend the law.

Paul Clement, a King & Spalding partner and former solicitor general for the Bush administration, agreed to take the case. Within a week, however, King & Spalding chairman Robert Hays Jr. made the surprise announcement that the firm was withdrawing, explaining that “the process used for vetting this engagement (had been) inadequate.”

Clement quickly resigned and joined another firm, where he will continue to handle the case. He made the decision, he said in a letter, “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.”

Clement was right, and Hays and others at King & Spalding know he was right. In fact, King & Spalding attorneys have volunteered on a pro bono basis to represent suspects at Guantanamo out of respect for that very same concept: Even unpopular causes and clients deserve representation.

So what caused King & Spalding to abandon the DOMA case, lose a highly respected partner and call into question its commitment to an important ethical principle?

Pick your answer. Gay-rights activists had launched a national campaign to pressure King & Spalding to withdraw. Attorneys within the firm who believe in gay rights were angered by the decision to take the case, particularly when it was learned that a contract signed by Clement would bar everyone at the firm from taking a public position in support of gay marriage. Corporate clients committed to diversity — clients representing a large portion of the firm’s reported $700 million in annual revenue — may also have expressed displeasure.

Only Hays and his partners know how much weight each of those factors carried. But in the end, they decided that the interests of the firm took precedence over the interests of the client they had agreed to represent, and withdrew.

Some gay-rights proponents have seized upon that withdrawal as a great success, and viewed from one narrow perspective, it was. Unfortunately, it was a setback for the larger cause of equal justice.

Courts function as a relatively unbiased forum for causes that may not be particularly popular. In fact, the gay rights movement owes much of its progress to the willingness of the judicial system to lend an ear to unpopular arguments that the political system rejects.

Even those who believe that DOMA is bad law and discriminatory social policy — and I’m certainly one of them — should balk at using public pressure to deny any cause the counsel of their choosing.

– Jay Bookman

395 comments Add your comment

AmVet

April 29th, 2011
7:19 am

These men, first agreed to take the case. Then back-peddled away from it.

They were not required to do either; and people speaking out, either for or against, their position is a Constitutional right.

This man jumped shipped, found another, and resumed his efforts.

It would seem that, once again, our system worked.

Off topic – as the brilliant Mr. Luckovich notes, end corporate welfare…

http://blogs.ajc.com/mike-luckovich/?cxntlid=sldr

Joel Edge

April 29th, 2011
7:25 am

The only losers in this: King & Spaulding. DOMA will be defended, Clement goes on to bigger and better things. I have to agree with AmVet. The system worked.

Tommy Maddox

April 29th, 2011
7:34 am

Lawyers withdraw from cases on a regular basis as do clients regularly fire their lawyers. How often do you see a firm tell a partner “hey – that client of yours, the House of Representatives, we don’t serve their kind”.

Withdrawal from representation is a regular thing but it just does not look good for K&S.

Jiff3

April 29th, 2011
7:38 am

There where those that defended the burning of Jews in Nazi Germany, there where those that defended slavery and so on……history will show these haters for what they are, meanwhile don’t even think about paying any US Fed tax until you are treated equally by the Fed Gov.

AmVet

April 29th, 2011
7:42 am

And can I get a Hallelujah from you godly types?

Georgia’s statewide mini-Prohibition is at an end.

Welcome to the mid 20th century!!! (When gay-bashing was de rigueur…)

Reprised from downstairs…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UfFnhpU94w

TnGelding

April 29th, 2011
7:51 am

Clement exceeded his authority and negotiated a bad contract,and the firm exercised its right to reject it. It was also unwise for the House to defend a law that is obviously unconstitutional with nonexistent taxpayer funds. When are they and the WH going to realize we can’t authorize ANY new spending?

stands for decibels

April 29th, 2011
7:52 am

those who believe that DOMA is bad law and discriminatory social policy … should balk at using public pressure to deny any cause the counsel of their choosing.

Sure, go ahead and balk. Frees up first base. Then drill the batter in the ear.

Peadawg

April 29th, 2011
7:54 am

“So what caused King & Spalding to abandon the DOMA case, lose a highly respected partner and call into question its commitment to an important ethical principle?”

Answer: Political Correctness

This has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions. Thanks for playing.

Joel Edge

April 29th, 2011
7:55 am

AmVet@7:42
Ok. Break out the flags!!!
No, not really. Non-issue.

USMC

April 29th, 2011
8:01 am

As usual MONEY wins out.
The Gay activist used their predictable Extortion tactics in pressuring King & Spalding’s Corporate clients, Coca-Cola, GE, etc., to “lean” on King & Spalding to drop their representation.
This is right out of the Bolshevik handbook. It all came down to money and that sick disease; political correctness.
But great article indeed, Jay

B K Barron

April 29th, 2011
8:03 am

Wow! Jay, I agree with you 100%
The Law is bad and needs to go, but this kind of manipulation is a bad idea.

teh Homoseckshul Agenda

April 29th, 2011
8:06 am

We will force you all to gay marry. Be afraid!

AmVet

April 29th, 2011
8:07 am

Joel, made just one small change to your observation.

Joel Edge

AmVet@7:42
Ok. Break out the flags!!!
No, not really. Non-issue. To me.

Call me old fashioned, but I see personal liberties and freedoms as an issue.

Just saw this at the Wooten morgue, and decided it was so damn good, I’d ask some of our family values cons here about it…

Curious
April 28th, 2011
11:09 pm

I’ll feel better when the Defense of Marriage Act has a provision outlawing divorce, except when either spouses’ life is in jeopardy.

Let’s get Newt Gingrich to push the case; he knows about the meaning of marriage.

For our friends who rely on the Republican Dictionary of Made Up Definitions, please try to use word correctly…

extort –verb (used with object)
1) to wrest or wring (money, information, etc.) from a person by violence, intimidation, or abuse of authority; obtain by force, torture, threat, or the like.
2) to take illegally by reason of one’s office.

Southern Comfort (aka The Man)

April 29th, 2011
8:09 am

A “withdrawl” post following a post on circumcision?? Have you been reading one of thos Masters and Johnson reports again, Jay?? :)

The House has a right to defend DOMA just as a convict has a right to trial. It doesn’t mean that DOMA is legal, constitutional, or anything else. It means that it will be defended in court. Personally, I don’t see a need for DOMA, DADT, or anything else. Two men and/or two women getting married and living together has no effect on what goes on in my household. I think the government should work to limit it’s reach into people’s personal lives. If it isn’t for safety or national security, let people live their lives as they choose.

Southern Comfort (aka The Man)

April 29th, 2011
8:10 am

This is right out of the Bolshevik handbook. It all came down to money and that sick disease; political correctness.

Nope, it’s right out of the American handbook. Money talks and bullsh*t walks!!

USMC

April 29th, 2011
8:10 am

“…the Obama administration recently decided it could no longer defend the law from legal challenges….”–Jay

Once again, Obama was actually FOR it before he was AGAINST it; further evidence of a lack of Leadership.

I do, however, agree with his previous idea of Civil Unions.

USMC

April 29th, 2011
8:14 am

“We will force you all to gay marry. Be afraid!”-teh Homoseckshul Agenda

The only thing that scares us is your rather large Adam’s Apple…

(Narcissism is the personality trait of egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others.)

stands for decibels

April 29th, 2011
8:18 am

But seriously, Jay, I will stick to my original thoughts on this, which is (per usual) right around where Responsible You and I part company–see also the card-check part of the Employee Free Choice Act.

I don’t believe in unilateral disarmament. So long as the other side is playing dirty, we play dirty. If it takes enlisting the support of corporate fat cats to pressure a high-end legal firm to withdraw their support for a vile law, we should do it.

see also also, this.

Paul

April 29th, 2011
8:22 am

Money trumps principle.

Again.

USMC

April 29th, 2011
8:23 am

“I don’t believe in unilateral disarmament. So long as the other side is playing dirty, we play dirty. If it takes enlisting the support of corporate fat cats to pressure a high-end legal firm to withdraw their support for a vile law, we should do it. see also also, this.”

/\/\/\/\/\/\ Textbook BOLSHEVISM!

Anthem of the Bolshevik Party – 1939 (Hino Partido Bolchevique)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEkHh-Y_Yms

stands for decibels

April 29th, 2011
8:24 am

Hey, could you guys playing the PC card today give a current definition of “political correctness?”

because last I checked, it basically meant “it sucks that I can’t say ‘f@g’ or ‘n!gg3r’ like I used to.” Was wondering if that’s still more or less accurate.

Southern Comfort (aka The Man)

April 29th, 2011
8:25 am

Aquagirl

April 29th, 2011
8:28 am

“a contract signed by Clement would bar everyone at the firm from taking a public position in support of gay marriage.”

Sign any contract you want, but don’t assume the rest of your colleagues are OK with giving up their right to free speech. Idjit.

Paul

April 29th, 2011
8:33 am

Aquagirl

“Free speech” doesn’t apply in such a way in an employment situation. Clements was a partner. We don’t know the authority granted by the firm to the partners, but this may have been within the scope of their authority.

Hootinanny Yum Yum

April 29th, 2011
8:33 am

Okay. Enough about King & Spaulding. Enough about DOMA.

Let’s talk about the NLRB, labor unions, Boeing, worker’s rights, state’s rights and free enterprise.

stands for decibels

April 29th, 2011
8:34 am

Let’s talk about the NLRB, labor unions, Boeing, worker’s rights, state’s rights and free enterprise.

blogspot.com is ready when you are, threadjacker.

Paul

April 29th, 2011
8:35 am

Aquagirl

Having reread your post, I’ll add that if the firm had retained the case and staff at the firm did not like the terms and violated those terms, they would be disciplined and, if they continued, been offered the opportunity to seek other career opportunities.

buck@gon

April 29th, 2011
8:36 am

“DOMA has always been constitutionally rickety. Defining marriage is a state function, not a federal function, and the Constitution requires that contracts created in one state be honored in all other states. Because DOMA treats gay people differently than heterosexuals, it also violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.

For all those reasons, the Obama administration recently decided it could no longer defend the law from legal challenges. (The law is still being enforced and will remain in effect unless it is overturned.) So Boehner and his House colleagues made the perfectly appropriate decision to step in and hire private attorneys — using House funds — to defend the law.”

Jay,

For the record, what Holder and Obama are doing is wholely INAPPROPRIATE. As attorney general, neither Obama nor Holder have the authority nor the rank to spit on a law just because they don’t like it. Making legislation is Congress’ authority, and this one has been signed into law by Obama’s predecessor. I’m sure curious if Obama’s republican successor can get away (in the media) with pulling that crap on Obamacare. For the record, I’m predicting outrage (feigned or otherwise) from these pages when Obama loses in 2012 and the republican President decides not to defend the most “open piece of legislation” ever rammed down the throat of the American people in the middle of the night.

Furthermore, equal protection under the law is not an absolute reality of life, even though it is a federal constitutional principle. If it were a truth of life, then seventeen year-olds would be suing successfully to drink and vote, under the argument that 18 and 21 are arbitrary ages anyway (which they are), and the facts of modern medicine or schooling or adolescent responsibility would not stand up to a constitutional guarantee, if in fact, the Bookman interpretation of this concept were correct, which it surely is not. Also, as stated before by me and others, if quality of spouses can be no impediment to a constitutional guarantee for marriage (which is what the left is trying to cook up here), then neither logically, can quantity. So, the again arbitrary number of two would not stand before a constitutional guarantee.

So, in the liberal world 17 gay 17-year-olds ought to be legal to organize in one marriage. Let that be your position. Now defend it.

“Even those who believe that DOMA is bad law and discriminatory social policy — and I’m certainly one of them — should balk at using public pressure to deny any cause the counsel of their choosing.

Jay,

I don’t even think that in the days of Jim Crow, KKK dominated South that the personal destruction of the court appointed advocate could have been much worse–unless (and I’m sure it happened somewhere at least once) that lawyers for the aggrieved were themselves attacked.

The tactics of the left are 1) use reason and logic in arguments 2) if that fails, abandon reason and logic, play electoral and opion poll politics, cloud the issue, stick to talking points, demonize your enemies; secure Obama and HIS blessed position (don’t know how that got in there) behind a phalanx of outward-pointed spears so that HIS blessed countenance will not disgracingly look upon the rough rabble of a hard question. May peace be upon HIM. For the left, the ends justify the means.

Southern Comfort (aka The Man)

April 29th, 2011
8:38 am

Tamika

April 29th, 2011
8:39 am

Jay,
You are right that the process of using public pressure to deny representation to legal causes you with is a bad idea and will come back to haunt the country and the people who oppose DOMA.
Cynthia Tucker thougt that the whole process of intimidating a law firm into not taking a particuar client was just hunky dorey.
King and Spalding’s decision to withdraw was a sad day for America and a sad day for freedom. It signals a thuggification of our legal process that will be bad for all of us. The rule of law just took a big step backward.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

April 29th, 2011
8:40 am

stands for decibels

April 29th, 2011
8:44 am

Also, USMC, when Barry Goldwater said in his 1964 nomination acceptance speech, before an audience of millions, “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

…was he, too, a “Bolshevik”?

Donovan

April 29th, 2011
8:44 am

The real story is that most lawyers are liberal and the partners of King & Spalding got caught not paying attention to their political vetting process. You all know the drill. Liberals cannot further their agenda through normal electoral mandates. Their preferred method is to petition a decision from a liberal judge from the “unbiased” halls of jurisprudence. Just look to California and Prop 8. Jay and his un-Americans love to revel in any small victory that goes against the grain of American common sense. After all, their agenda is a crap shoot unless it can be passed with smoke-and-mirrors.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

April 29th, 2011
8:45 am

Let’s also be very clear that many of those complaining on the right actually use this tactic in attacking doctors perform abortions and attorneys who defend doctors and take the tactics farther to include threats, home addresses, contacting neighbors and friends and following people in their daily lives.

K&S has a fine pro-bono program, a number of LGB attorneys and has ethical and legal obligations to all of its clients. Often the firm cannot say the precise reasons for which it withdraws.

ByteMe

April 29th, 2011
8:46 am

So Boehner and his House colleagues made the perfectly appropriate decision to step in and hire private attorneys — using House funds — to defend the law.

I’m curious if indeed it’s appropriate for the wrong branch of government to defend a law in court. Is there case law that says they have standing to defend the law from challenges?

Southern Comfort (aka The Man)

April 29th, 2011
8:46 am

Buck@gon

I think there’s a distinct difference between defending a law in court, and enforcing a law. Nothing Obama has said would lead one to think that Holder is no longer enforcing the law. Personally, I’m not losing an ounce of sleep over their decision to no longer defend a law that is discriminatory. I’m curious as to what that outrage will sound like if/when Obama is re-elected. So far, I don’t see any GOP candidate that I think will do what is best for America as a whole. I’m not sold on Obama, either, but he’s looking at having the edge in regards to incumbency and fundraising.

Aquagirl

April 29th, 2011
8:47 am

Paul, sounds like Clement made a poor decision in exercising his authority over others. People are fired every day for this. The dummy shouldn’t have assumed everyone else was OK with that part of the contract.

John

April 29th, 2011
8:48 am

“So Boehner and his House colleagues made the perfectly appropriate decision to step in and hire private attorneys — using House funds — to defend the law.”

Actually, John Beohner want to divert funds from the Justice Dept. to pay for it. He doesn’t want to use House funds.

USMC

April 29th, 2011
8:49 am

stands for decibels@8:44

Keep reaching Stands… You are free to “pervert” and “distort” whatever it is that you wish.
As long as it makes you FEEL good.

(Narcissism is the personality trait of egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others.)

RB from Gwinnett

April 29th, 2011
8:50 am

We should publicly embarrass any law firm who represents any client we disagree with to the point people we disagree with should get no representation in court.

Right Jay?!!

AmVet

April 29th, 2011
8:50 am

The real story is that most lawyers are liberal…

Do tell?

Please provide your sources, citations, links and other evidence for this claim.

Cynthia Tucker thougt (sic) that the whole process of intimidating a law firm into not taking a particuar (sic) client was just hunky dorey.

Does “Tamika” have license to snoop inside of Ms. Tucker’s mind? Is “she” with the NSA?

Once again for you Republispeak types, please understand that we use standard, written English on this forum to communicate with each other…

intimidate –verb (used with object)
1. to make timid; fill with fear.
2. to overawe or cow, as through the force of personality or by superior display of wealth, talent, etc.
3. to force into or deter from some action by inducing fear:

thug –noun
1. a cruel or vicious ruffian, robber, or murderer.

USMC

April 29th, 2011
8:51 am

Donovan @ 8:44

Well said!

Joel Edge

April 29th, 2011
8:52 am

AmVet@8:07
“Call me old fashioned, but I see personal liberties and freedoms as an issue.”
I do too. I just hate seeing something so moronic as Sunday sales used as an issue.

Granny Godzilla

April 29th, 2011
8:52 am

“The real story is that most lawyers are liberal”

That was not intended as a factual statement.

Doggone/GA

April 29th, 2011
8:53 am

Keep Up – we went through this the last time Jay brought up DOMA. The Obama admin will not DEFEND DOMA, they did not say they will not ENFORCE it.

buck@gon

April 29th, 2011
8:54 am

Aquagirl,

No no no.

I’m an engineer, not a lawyer, but I owe similar fiduciary responsibility to firm clients, and many other professions do this too: real estate brokers, stock brokers, just about any profession, including medicine has the responsibility if in a firm or practice to serve all customers and clients as they have contracted with that client to be served. It would be unethical, say, for an engineer to take both sides of an issue, such as you propose K&S do.

Lawyers, of course, are at the crux of all of this type of professionalism and THEY principally, are the ones charged with defending the system.

A lawyer, for instance, could no better “jealously defend his client” if half of his firm is ostensibly against what he is doing, than he could simultaneously defend the other side. This good policy that professionals must use, actually ensures that people are given equal protection under the law.

Now, for a second, consider the Obama position on DOMA. Congress makes the laws, and laws are policy of the government. The President swore an oath to enforce the laws of this country, which are our policies. The role of the Prez is definitely NOT to decide, post facto, that laws are unconstitutional and ignore them. We have a legal and proper route for that, and it’s called the federal COURTS.

What all of this shows is that Obama and his administration aren’t governing from laws, American principles and tradition. They are just doing whatever the hell they want, whenever they want. They aren’t in firm or discernible control over the bureaucracy or even themselves. The fact is that they have very few predictable reasonable policies, much less any successful ones.

As Obamacare’s continuing metasticization ought to make us aware, the goal of the Obama administration seems to not be troubled with good government, except only in theory, and let the unelected bureaucrats take care of the bothersome details. If you listen seriously to NPR, NY Times or the national liberal media, Obama is just too damn smart; we don’t even deserve him, and we all ought to feel lucky that HE is just smiling at us over the teleprompter.

ByteMe

April 29th, 2011
8:56 am

If you listen seriously to NPR, NY Times or the national liberal media, Obama is just too damn smart; we don’t even deserve him, and we all ought to feel lucky that HE is just smiling at us over the teleprompter.

How would you know? I’m guessing you’ve never actually done that for long.

Bruno

April 29th, 2011
8:57 am

Because DOMA treats gay people differently than heterosexuals, it also violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.

The problem with your application of the Equal Protection clause is that marriage is not a right, but a privilege, in the same way that obtaining a driver’s license is a privilege and not a right. Both are subject to a host of exclusionary requirements which ultimately discriminate against whole classes of people.

Left wing management

April 29th, 2011
8:57 am

Jay: “Some gay-rights proponents have seized upon that withdrawal as a great success, and viewed from one narrow perspective, it was. Unfortunately, it was a setback for the larger cause of equal justice.”

This is very true and it’s an index of the dead end of identity politics.

carlosgvv

April 29th, 2011
8:57 am

This law firm is in business to make a profit, like all other law firms. When it became clear that taking this case would cost more money than it would earn, they dropped it. That is all you need to know about “ethical principles”.

USMC

April 29th, 2011
8:58 am

buck@gon @8:54

Bravo! Can you say “Hit the nail on the head”?

Lil' Barry Bailout

April 29th, 2011
9:00 am

Americans don’t need the Congress or the courts to tell us what marriage is, we already know. And there’s no gay version of it.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

April 29th, 2011
9:00 am

Buck… nice rant but without fact. All attorneys are members of the court. They have a duty not to advance arguments that do not have merit and they have a duty not to raise consitutional arguments that do not have merit.

As for your claim about a “first time” in Presidential history…its not. http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/presidential-decisions-not-to-defend-the-constitutionality-of-federal-law-a-brief-history

Cletus

April 29th, 2011
9:00 am

You’re missing the real point here, Jay. With King & Spalding pulling out of the DOMA case and Braves’ coach Roger McDowell threatened with dismissal for heckling a couple of gay fans in San Francisco, it’s getting harder and harder for an angry white male to practice his bigotry in public. Next thing you know, they’ll be telling us we can’t bash brown-skinned immigrants anymore.

MarkV

April 29th, 2011
9:01 am

Jay is wrong, I am sorry to say, and Clement was wrong. Their arguments are hollow. To argue with “unpopularity in certain quarters” is disgusting.
This is not a case of defending a person accused of a crime, where there are circumstances to be considered. It is a question of constitutionality of a law. If a lawyer defends the law while believing the law is unconstitutional, he/she is lying, pure and simple, and is trying to save a law he/she does not believe should exist..

Left wing management

April 29th, 2011
9:02 am

buck@gon: “you listen seriously to NPR, NY Times or the national liberal media”

What’s “liberal” mean?

Anyway, NPR is NOT a “liberal” media outlet.

Unless of course you define an “independent” position as equivalent to “liberal”.

But you wouldn’t make an argument that’s quite THAT stupid, would you?

Rightwing Troll

April 29th, 2011
9:03 am

“Courts function as a relatively unbiased forum”

Ahem… BS!!!

Courts and those who preside in them are as biased and owned by special interests as any other part of our “representative” style of government… Which is especially unsettling when you consider the fact that ANY time you step in front of a judge your constitutional rights are automatically suspended and that judge at that moment has dominion over you, your property and all that might be precious to you. That judge can do ANYTHING to you that he/she wants and you are powerless to do anything about it. To make things even more disturbing is the fact that some in our society want judges to become openly biased and campaign on stances they presume they will take if a certain issue comes before them.

So… I gotta throw a red flag at the whole “unbiased” line of $hit Jay tries to feed us here…

buck@gon

April 29th, 2011
9:04 am

SoCo @ 8:46,

The President, AG have neither the authority to ignore enforcement nor to ignore defense of the laws in court. It is their job.

But….

As we have seen, Holder seems to care little about laws, especially when they touch, “his people”, ie., the New Black Panther Party. What could only have been a violation of anti-harassment civil rights laws became “nothing to see here.”

Laws are arbitrary enough, and the American system is not at all perfect, but Holder/Obama seem to have the starpower authority to advance this arbitrary ruling authority unchecked by lapdog media and dopey republicans. Can we assume that laws are now arbitrarily recognized and enforced and that it is really just the will of the King that governs us?

That’s the end result of the creep of unchecked arbitrary power, and the consequences of that, as we can all imagine, are terrible.

Rightwing Troll

April 29th, 2011
9:06 am

Plus… this whole K&S issue is simply a fine example of the “free markets” at work. Why should a private firm be compelled to take a stance in one direction or the other for any other reason than that’s what thier clients wish and is in thier own best interest?

AmVet

April 29th, 2011
9:08 am

I do too. I just hate seeing something so moronic as Sunday sales used as an issue.

Joel, this as just another blow against the hyper-reactionary, ultra-instrasigent Baptist overlords who used to control this state.

No more.

You gotta love democracy….

Granny Godzilla

April 29th, 2011
9:08 am

“As we have seen, Holder seems to care little about laws, especially when they touch, “his people”, ie., the New Black Panther Party. What could only have been a violation of anti-harassment civil rights laws became “nothing to see here.”

This was not intended to be a factual statement

UGA1999

April 29th, 2011
9:09 am

Off the subject I thought you guys would like to see this..

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=7f6_1304022803

Interesting eh?

Keep Up the Good Fight!

April 29th, 2011
9:10 am

As we have seen, Holder seems to care little about laws, especially when they touch, “his people”, ie., the New Black Panther Party. What could only have been a violation of anti-harassment civil rights laws became “nothing to see here.”

Well we can see the honesty brought to the discussion. ;)

Again, Presidents have decided not to defend a law on a basis that cannot be supported. There is no suggestion that the failure to defend on a basis that the DoJ beleives does not have merit is unconstitutional or a breach of the President’s duties under Constitution.

UGA1999

April 29th, 2011
9:10 am

AmVet….nope you have to love the republican house and govenor that finally got Sunday sales in front of the voters. Great job boys.

buck@gon

April 29th, 2011
9:12 am

Keep up,

“Buck… nice rant but without fact. All attorneys are members of the court. They have a duty not to advance arguments that do not have merit and they have a duty not to raise consitutional arguments that do not have merit.”

OK, so all attorneys agree on arguments and whether or not they have merit? So, no one will defend San Francisco’s nascent movement to outlaw circumcision, or will every lawyer do it?

Hmmmm……

Sounds like you’re not the one thinking clearly. If this were the case, and all lawyers doing their “duty” never had to consider the merits of a case before a judge because they all agreed with each other, well, then we wouldn’t need courts. We could just fill out forms, stand in line for instant justice. In fact, why even have elections to determine outcomes? If it’s their duty, then hey, let’s just consider them smarter than you and vote by acclimation whatever they say (just for appearances, of course).

Southern Comfort (aka The Man)

April 29th, 2011
9:16 am

As we have seen, Holder seems to care little about laws, especially when they touch, “his people”, ie., the New Black Panther Party. What could only have been a violation of anti-harassment civil rights laws became “nothing to see here.”

Aww geez, not this non-factual bovine fecal matter again. No matter how much super glue you apply to fecal matter, it will not stick to the fan. That suit was investigated and decided upon by members of Bush’s Justice Dept before Holder was even sworn in, right? I guess factual statements do not make good reference material in partisaned debates. However, slinging fecal matter in a field will eventually make it fertile enough to grow crops.

I’m guessing you’d be one of those people who would insist on pulling out all stops to keep your home from flooding while the rest of the town is already under water…..

Quick Work Break

April 29th, 2011
9:16 am

USMC: I’ve seen you post a couple times saying you’re for Civil Unions. Did you vote for the GA constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages? If so, you also voted to forbid Civil Unions as well. Just wasn’t sure if you knew that. It was carefully hidden from the ballot wording–on purpose.

AmVet

April 29th, 2011
9:17 am

Yep, I do give the Georgia GOP credit.

They are working very hard at moving into the 1970s.

buck@gon

April 29th, 2011
9:19 am

LWM,

We’re going to go into this again?

OK, by way of example, look up the interview from Terry Gross’ Fresh Air show when she hosted Bill O’Reilly. He walked away disgusted (which was a mistake I thought because it was such a teachable moment), but the questions were absurd: “Mr. O’Reilly, a lot of your critics have said….”

“Mr. O’Reilly, a lot of people disagree….”

“Mr. O’Reilly, most people think you’re wrong…”

NPR looks quite critically at people who ask for birth certificates, but not at politicians who are required by law to supply them. All of this Obamanonsense could have been dealt with 1000 days ago, if media outlets close to the President, like NPR, would have asked once a week, “got that form yet?”

I know this will not convince you, #1 because you rarely respond to me, and #2 because you don’t respond to examples and evidence, and #3 because you seem to be conspiracy minded as much as the kookiest birther out there.

Jay

April 29th, 2011
9:20 am

‘The President, AG have neither the authority to ignore enforcement nor to ignore defense of the laws in court. It is their job. ‘

Buck once again posts with his characteristic blithe disregard for the facts.

If Obama and Holder had no authority to take such steps, I’m sure our friends in the Republican House would be banging the impeachment drums on this issue, yet the drums are oddly silent. That’s because the law in this regard is clear and well-established: Presidents and AGs have not only the right but the duty to take such a stance when the facts require.

In fact, as the link from Good Fight documents, they have done so repeatedly. The link cites cases in which Presidents Reagan, Bush I and Bush II made similar decisions, yet somehow managed to do so without conservatives collapsing on their fainting couches.

In one case, the Reagan administration took such a stance in order to defend Bob Jones University’s right to discriminate against black people while still claiming a tax exemption. In another case, ACLU et al., v. Norman Y. Mineta, the Bush administration refused to defend a law that cut off funds to local mass-transit operators if they accepted marijuana reform ads. The solicitor general who made that decision was a man named Paul Clement.

Now where have I heard that name before?

JKL2

April 29th, 2011
9:20 am

Marriage benefits were set up to establish a stable home environment to raise children in. I have nothing against gay marriage, just don’t expect me to extend benefits to them when that was never the entent. Fighting DOMA is another welfare handout in the guise of equal rights.

UGA1999

April 29th, 2011
9:22 am

Amvet…THANK GOD!

Aquagirl

April 29th, 2011
9:24 am

“It would be unethical, say, for an engineer to take both sides of an issue, such as you propose K&S do. ”

buck@gon, maybe Clement should have noticed one of their lawyers is president of the Stonewall Bar Association before he signed that contract.

It really rankles you when teh gayz won’t sit down and shut up, doesn’t it? It’s funny how everyone is so enamored of due process and the sanctity of the system and all when it means shoving somebody to the back of the bus. All your floral yakking doesn’t cover that up, y’know. But type away if it makes you feel better. It’s terribly frustrating to see your bigotry upended and I’d rather have you venting here than creeping around midtown gay-bashing.

getalife

April 29th, 2011
9:24 am

Another day of as the bigots spew……

Americans are sick of our cons.

UGA1999

April 29th, 2011
9:25 am

Getalife…yep the last election proved it….joker!

Quick Work Break

April 29th, 2011
9:25 am

JKL2 @ 9:20, You just made it sound like heterosexual marriage couldn’t work without government welfare. :)

UGA1999

April 29th, 2011
9:26 am

Uh oh….another day that Obama is falling in the polls…..WONDERFUL!

TGT

April 29th, 2011
9:26 am

Because DOMA treats gay people differently than heterosexuals, it also violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.

Every law governing some behavior (whether directly or indirectly) treats one group of people differently than another. Of course, Jay’s premise is that there is nothing wrong with homosexual behavior, and thus DOMA is unjust. However, this is not the view of the vast majority of Americans, at least when it comes to homosexuality and marriage.

Chuck Anziulewicz

April 29th, 2011
9:27 am

Perhaps the law firm of King & Spalding simply came to the realization that there was no point in defending something as transparently unconstitutional as the Defense of Marriage Act.

WHY is DOMA unconstitutional? Consider: A Straight couple legally married in Iowa is automatically entitled to 1,138 legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities according to the Government Accounting Office (GAO). Many of those benefits have to do with tax law, Social Security, inheritance rights, child custody, and so on. But because of DOMA, a Gay couple that is legally married in Iowa is still unrecognized by the federal government for those benefits.

Consider, also, the “Full Faith & Credit” clause of the Constitution. Because of this, any Straight couple can fly off to Las Vegas for drunken weekend, get married by an Elvis impersonator, and that marriage is automatically honored in all 50 states, and at all levels of government. But thanks to DOMA, a Gay couple that is legally married in Iowa becomes UN-married if they relocate south to Missouri.

The ONLY real difference between a married Gay couple and a married Straight couple is the gender of the two people who have made the commitment. It has nothing to do with procreation, since couples do not need a marriage license to make babies, nor is the ability or even desire to make babies a prerequisite for obtaining a marriage license. So there is really no constitutional justification for denying law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples the same legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities that married Straight couples have always taken for granted. This cannot be accomplished in a piecemeal, state-by-state fashion.

stands for decibels

April 29th, 2011
9:27 am

That suit was investigated and decided upon by members of Bush’s Justice Dept before Holder was even sworn in, right?

Well, given that he’s Faster Than The Speed of Light, time travel shouldn’t be any big deal for Super… erm…

(that’s how they managed those birth announcements in the Honolulu Advertiser and the Star Bulletin, right?)

getalife

April 29th, 2011
9:28 am

Get a job cons and stop living off our government.

Granny Godzilla

April 29th, 2011
9:28 am

“Of course, Jay’s premise is that there is nothing wrong with homosexual behavior, and thus DOMA is unjust. However, this is not the view of the vast majority of Americans, at least when it comes to homosexuality and marriage.”

This is not intended to be a factual statement.

md

April 29th, 2011
9:29 am

“They are working very hard at moving into the 1970s.”

You mean they are advocating for the legalization of drugs and Disco??

UGA1999

April 29th, 2011
9:29 am

Getalife….I am the job…..hahaha you may want to try it.

jm

April 29th, 2011
9:29 am

Democrats with ties to the Obama White House on Friday are launching a two-pronged fundraising effort aimed at countering deep-pocketed GOP groups in 2012 — and adopting some of the same policies on unlimited, secret donations that President Barack Obama himself has long opposed, the organizers tell POLITICO.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53905.html#ixzz1Kv13Bb3B

AmVet

April 29th, 2011
9:30 am

“Jay’s premise is that there is nothing wrong with homosexual behavior…”

Am I to presume that you think otherwise?

jm

April 29th, 2011
9:30 am

do as i say… not as I do (said Obama)

TaxPayer

April 29th, 2011
9:30 am

Yet buckagon has no problem when Boehner proclaims his willingness to defund healthcare legislation in order to try to end it.

Lil' Barry Bailout

April 29th, 2011
9:31 am

DOMA treats no one differently than any other. No one has a right to marry someone of the same gender. You can pretend it’s a marriage, you can call it one, but it isn’t one.

getalife

April 29th, 2011
9:32 am

jm,

Yeah, he will play the game and win.

Get over it jm.

UGA1999

April 29th, 2011
9:33 am

Getalife….no he will play the fools and try to win but the entire “Hope and Change” nonsense will not work this time. Only the uneducated fools that vote for him no matter what he is doing to the country will support him.

2012!!!

getalife

April 29th, 2011
9:35 am

President Obama will win easily.

Only the cons will vote gop to end their own Medicare.

Left wing management

April 29th, 2011
9:35 am

Calm down, Buck, I have every intention of responding to you and engaging in discussion.

The fact that Gross of Fresh Air may in her private life lean liberal (I don’t know that for a fact) doesn’t mean squat. Gene Simmons of Kiss also had an interview with her that didn’t go over well, but that was because he made disrespectful, suggestive comments in the interview. So what does that prove? In O’Reilly’s case I suspect it simply proves he’s an ego-driven blowhard who can’t handle being challenged. Probably doesn’t ultimately have a lot to do with ideology. The fact is, Gross’ show does not carry a flag for the left.

NPR looks quite critically at people who ask for birth certificates, but not at politicians who are required by law to supply them.

Because it’s not an issue. Period. Why should NPR indulge a non-issue just because a fringe group is pushing it?

All of this Obamanonsense could have been dealt with 1000 days ago, if media outlets close to the President, like NPR, would have asked once a week, “got that form yet?”

Again, this shows your ignorance. NPR is not “close to Obama”. Not by a long shot. That is to say, they aren’t close to him the way FOX was “close” to Bush, say.

know this will not convince you, … because you seem to be conspiracy minded as much as the kookiest birther out there.

This from someone who believes there’s an issue with Barack Obama’s citizenship? Bizarre reasoning there, Buck.

But you’re right about one thing: I do believe in conspiracies. Namely, the neoliberal one (now that’s a liberal that really does exist!) to bring the wonderful economic world to this country that it brought to Chile and other countries it’s wrecked with its market fundamentalism, austerity, and crumbs for the people. You can see this right now in Wisconsin and Michigan. Now THAT’s what I call a
conspiracy to get riled up about.

jm

April 29th, 2011
9:36 am

getalife – your hypocritical president will not win. sorry. game over.

AmVet

April 29th, 2011
9:36 am

In my opinion, BHO, aka GWB II, does not deserve a second term.

But unless the Party of Incompetents can produce a non-laughable opponent, he’s as good as in.

In fact, it appears that a lot of Republicans are running. Running *away* from even trying to unseat him…

@@

April 29th, 2011
9:37 am

Defense of DOMA isn’t high on my list of priorities.

I did, however, find a documentary of the gay movement (PBA) interesting. The first activist gay rights activist group was The Mattachine Society (1970s). When their president was interviewed on television he was asked what laws they would like to see enacted. His answer?

In the 70s, the President of the Mattachine Society was interviewed on television and they asked what kinds of laws the gay community would like to see enacted. He said “I’ll tell you what kinds of laws we don’t want to see. Gay marriage and adoption. We have no interest in those things.”

Gays from that era were throughout the documentary recollecting the times when…

They would congregate by the hundreds in tractor trailers that were parked after having hauled meat all day. They would engage in sexual orgies…some remembering it with disgust. Others referring to it as sexual freedom.

I kept thinking…”Why not get a room?”

Call me old-fashioned but if heterosexuals were to congregate for a huge public orgy, I’d find that equally disgusting.

To each his own, I s’pose.

UGA1999

April 29th, 2011
9:38 am

Amvet….I actually somewhat agree with you! I still think Romney is going to have the best shot. But it is going to depend on his running mate and his defense of healthcare.

Recon (2nd.and 3rd.)

April 29th, 2011
9:39 am

While I disagree on your DOMA position Jay, your commentary was both fair and correct.

TGT

April 29th, 2011
9:40 am

This is not intended to be a factual statement.

Well then, prove it Granny. I think you will find that the facts are on my side.

Southern Comfort (aka The Man)

April 29th, 2011
9:40 am

dB

Can’t get the youtube here, but I can only imagine.. :lol: