Last year, when Attorney General Thurbert Baker declined to join a federal lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s health care reform on behalf of Georgia, Gov. Sonny Perdue assigned the matter to outside counsel.
In Washington, House Republicans have done something of the same sort. The Obama administration last month announced it would no longer go to bat in court for the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as only a union between a man and woman.
So at $520 an hour, with the money coming out of their own taxpayer-fueled budget, House Republicans have hired Paul Clement of King & Spalding to defend the act. Paul Clement is a former U.S. solicitor general for President George W. Bush.
For a time, Clement was the lead counsel hired by Gov. Sonny Perdue to appeal a federal court ruling challenging Georgia’s access to the water in Lake Lanier for drinking purposes.
The law firm of King & Spalding has its origins in Atlanta, in the early 20th century. The firm has 15 other offices now, including one in D.C.
All of which is to explain why the Human Rights Campaign, an organization dedicated to gay rights, announced today that it would target King & Spalding in a campaign to encourage the firm to drop its newest client.
“The bottom line is that K&S was under no obligation to take this case. They consciously chose to defend a law that discriminates against LGBT Americans, including K&S’s LGBT employees and clients,” said HRC president Joe Solmonese. “Discrimination, no matter how profitable, is never good business.”
Law school students and clients of King & Spalding in Atlanta can expect attempts to draw them into the debate – even though the HRC admits that success is unlikely.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider