More on the New Jim/Jane Crow Laws

This one is so interesting I thought I’d give it its own post.  We’ve talked about how the Republicans are eager to strip immigrants, women, and the GLBT community of constitutional rights.  Recently, the Obama DOJ refused to defend DOMA against charges of unconstitutionality.  Speaker Boehner took up the cause by hiring some very expensive lawyers.  It seems those lawyers have dropped the DOMA case.

In a real victory for supporters of same-sex marriage — and marking what seems like real marginalization for its foes — a major law firm has reversed course and will refuse to represent the House of Representatives in defending the Defense of Marriage Act.

King and Spalding Chairman Robert D. Hays, Jr., whose partner Paul Clement was to lead the defense, said in a statement through a spokesman, Les Zuke:

Today the firm filed a motion to withdraw from its engagement to represent the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives on the constitutional issues regarding Section III of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. Last week we worked diligently through the process required for withdrawal.

In reviewing this assignment further, I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate. Ultimately I am responsible for any mistakes that occurred and apologize for the challenges this may have created.

The statement is silent on the reasons for the decision, but the firm faced protests at its Atlanta office and a national campaign against it. And now the House majority may have to find a new lawyer.

The weirdest twist in this flap is that Clement–Boehner’s choice and a former Dubya appointee–has quit the firm. A copy of his resignation letter exists on line here.

Former Solicitor General Paul Clement resigned Monday from his law firm, King & Spalding, over the firm’s abrupt and belated decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of the House of Representatives.

“I resign 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,” Clement wrote to King & Spalding chairman Robert Hays. “I recognized from the outset that this statute implicates very sensitive issues that prompt strong views on both sides. But having undertaken the representation, I believe there is no honorable course for me but to complete it.”

Clement said he will join Bancroft PLLC, a small Washington-based firm that is home to former Bush Justice Department official Viet Dinh.

It’s extremely odd that small-government loving republicans continue to support the removal of rights from American citizens.  The clear driver behind all of this is their extremist base with their extremist religious views.   The tide is clearly turning on laws that give members of the GLBT less than full citizenship status because younger people do not ascribe to the bigotry in large numbers.  Nancy Pelosi tweets that she wants answers from Speaker Boehner.


While @kslaw dropped #DOMA case, @SpeakerBoehner still needs to answer my ?s on legal boondoggle:

Frankly, I’d like answers from Congresswoman Pelosi and other Democrats about why it’s taken them so long to stand up for the constitutional rights of US citizens.   It’s time for them to fight all the erosion of rights of individuals by the Republicans that are clearly based in religious diatribes and bigotry and little else.  This includes the fights for abortion rights and the civil rights of the GLBT community and immigrants.

21 Comments on “More on the New Jim/Jane Crow Laws”

  1. Woman Voter says:

    Clapping, HORAY! Finally, some attorneys are willing to stand for Civil Rights and Human Rights…who was that lady that said Gay Rights are Civil Rights and Human Rights are Gay Rights…YUP HILLARY CLINTON!

  2. bostonboomer says:

    This is fascinating. Clement was involved in the DOJ attorney firings under Bush. He was Solicitor General after Ted Olson, who now supports gay marriage.

    • bostonboomer says:

      According to Wikipedia, Paul Clement

      is a coveted potential hire among DC legal firms, who reportedly are vying to build a firm around his expertise in appellate matters.[8] Evan Tager of Mayer Brown said: “Paul Clement is the Holy Grail of law firm recruiting… The buzz in the legal world about Clement is like the buzz in basketball when LeBron James was coming out of high school and turning pro. It will be interesting to see where the market will go.”

      • Woman Voter says:

        Evolution of the acknowledgment of Human Rights in attorneys who prior had defended the inhumane GOP agenda/war on LGBT community. Where will the others stand in history and later on in the history books.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    Obama has no real interest in the rights of anyone but I think he holds back based on the number of votes he thinks he will lose if he openly supported those rights.

    We know he is busy courting the Independents this time around. The same group who defected from the Dems back in 2008 whosaw through the subtrafuge.

    I don’t believe that he has any strong religious convictions but he is married to a woman who led him to a black church and we know that the black community does not support gays.

    Having no passion for any one issue, he is easily manipulated by his wife and the pollsters.

    At least that is my take on it.

  4. Pelosi and the Dems aren’t going to fight for our rights other than demagoguery.

    The grassroots/sisters/brothers are going to have to do it for themselves.

  5. dakinikat says:

    Haley Barbour has issued a statement:

    “I will not be a candidate for president next year.”

    Both Dave Weigel and Josh Kraushaar think this means Mitch Daniels is now likely to run for the GOP nomination.

  6. dakinikat says:

    Oh, Sheesh, now there’s an “orphan theology” … fundies are basically kidnapping children from their home countries to “save” them…

    In Arizona, Juntunen was speaking with Dan Cruver, head of Together for Adoption, a key coalition in a growing evangelical adoption movement. The event was the first of the organization’s new “house conferences”: small-scale meet-ups bolstering an active national movement that promotes Christians’ adopting as a way to address a worldwide “orphan crisis” they say encompasses hundreds of millions of children. It’s a message Cruver also emphasizes in his book Reclaiming Adoption—one in a growing list of titles about “orphan theology,” which teaches that adoption mirrors Christian salvation, plays an essential role in antiabortion politics and is a means of fulfilling the Great Commission, the biblical mandate that Christians spread the gospel.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Ugh…Do you remember those “Good Christians” who tried to kidnap 30 kids after the quake in Haiti?

      The Evangelical Adoption Campaign – The Daily Beast

      The details that emerged about the group’s plans and leader, Laura Silsby, were unsavory. Although Silsby, the legally embattled CEO of a personal shopping business, claimed that the group never intended to put the children up for adoption, an itinerary for New Life’s mission, published by an affiliated Southern Baptist church, bluntly described a plan to “gather 100 orphans from the streets and collapsed orphanages” onto a bus, then take them to a hotel in the Dominican Republic. There, New Life hoped to build permanent orphanage facilities, including a beachfront restaurant and “seaside villas” for prospective adoptive parents—amenities that underscore their understanding of local adoption residency requirements, even as they claimed ignorance of Haitian law. Additional planning and fundraising documents described the group’s goal to “equip each child” with the opportunity “for adoption into a loving Christian family,” and help them “find new life in Christ.

      • dakinikat says:

        They are evidently part of this movement. I guess at least they are interested in alive children instead of fertilized eggs but it is still creepy.

  7. dakinikat says:

    In other good news, PJ Crowley has been freed from the obamanation.

    PJCrowley Philip J. Crowley
    Only 3 of 68 detainees released over the past two years are recidivists. This hardly justifies keeping the #GTMO prison open indefinitely.

    • Yep! Here’s the tweet he posted right after that:

      PJCrowley Philip J. Crowley
      The embarrassing #Kandahar prison escape shows how fragile #Afghan government institutions remain a decade after the U.S.-led intervention.

  8. jillforhill says:

    O/T-Impeachment was not Bill’s or the rethugs fault,but according to a new book it is Hillary’s fault

    Add to that Hillary Clinton’s sudden decision, he writes, to stop talks for a deal because she didn’t think the GOP would dare to proceed. “A serious chance existed for Clinton to avoid impeachment, and Hillary Clinton killed that opportunity personally,” pens Rogan of the White House view, independently confirmed by Whispers. “These were all missed opportunities,” the folksy Rogan says in an interview.”