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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:36 AM
Original message
King & Spalding drops marriage case
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 09:57 AM by maddezmom
Source: ATLaw.com

10:30 am, April 25th, 2011
King & Spaldings chairman, Robert D. Hays Jr., has just announced that the firm is withdrawing from its engagement to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act for the House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives announcement last Monday that it had hired King & Spalding partner Paul D. Clement to defend DOMA sparked vehement criticism from gay organizations, which expressed outrage that the firm would defend legal challenges to a law that denies federal recognition of marriage to same-sex couples. The firm has been supportive of gay rights groups, and one of its associates is president of the Stonewall Bar Association, Georgias gay bar association.

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, said Hays in a statement.



Read more: http://www.atlawblog.com/2011/04/king-spalding-drops-ma... /



DOMA: Boehners Hand-Picked Law Firm To Defend DOMA Quits


John Boehners hand-picked law firm, King and Spalding, has just announced they are resigning from the U.S. House of Representatives DOMA defense, stating, they have determined the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate. Boehner, via the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), promised to defend DOMA, the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, in court, after President Obama and the Department of Justice announced in February they believed the law to be unconstitutional, and, would follow in the footsteps of other U.S. presidents who have refused to defend laws in court.

The House was to pay King and Spalding, and their top litigator, partner Paul Clement who was to lead the defense, a reported $520 an hour. The House had signed a contract capping initial charges up to $500,000, and allowing for additional charges to be approved.

snip

The firm was under increasing challenges from gay rights organizations for taking the case, citing its own internal policies in contrast to defending DOMA. Additionally, there was public anger over terms of the contract that stated employees of King and Spalding would not be allowed to personally speak against DOMA, a stipulation that could have led to legal issues for the firm.

more:http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/doma-boehners-hand...
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sudopod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
1. No one likes to lose :D
It'll be great to watch DOMA crash and burn.
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #1
66. Party of "keep government out of our lives" tries to keep government in people's pants
for $1/2 million. I love it when the repigs lose.
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ejbr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #66
73. +1 n/t
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Angry Dragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
2. ...........
:thumbsup:
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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
3. K&R
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Demit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
4. Terrific! They found their principles. Probably from looking at their bottom line, but still.
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pezDispenser Donating Member (443 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #4
75. this is what I like about capitalism
we vote with our dollars. the fact that business doesn't have morals can be used in our favor. on a related note, remember to call / email a place of business that is doing the right things. we're always quick to acknowledge things we disagree with, but reminding businesses they are doing the right thing works as well.
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DURHAM D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
5. too funny... nt
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Snoutport Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
6. This makes me and my hubby happy!
kick
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #6
33. I'm thinking George Takei is having a good day, too.
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 02:52 PM by Ken Burch

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mahatmakanejeeves Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
7. the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate.
The pollen season will do that to you. Now that they've recovered their sense of smell, they recognize DOMA for what it is.

Great news.
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DURHAM D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I suspect the "vetting" is about their current client list.
From their board room - "Oh No - I didn't know _________ was gay. We can't piss him/her off. They will take their business elsewhere."
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
9. They broke their "engagment" to prosecute gay marriage?
I guess love really does conquer all!

:loveya:
rocktivity
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
10. Eh. I don't like pressuring lawyers who represent bad people.
If they honestly think there isn't a case, that's one thing; the campaign against them isn't any better for being in pursuit of a good cause.
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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. this is a civil case, nobody is going to jail over the outcome
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 12:16 PM by CreekDog
there are firms that make oodles of money defending every corporate interest in creation. if you think you have to approve of that behavior as equally as you approve of the underpaid legal aid types helping people get their health insurance claims paid, then you have made consistency your god and thrown away morality.

:hi:
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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #16
38. Even in a civil case, unpopular causes have a right to their day in court.
The obstacle to justice for many people with unpaid health insurance claims is, as you note, economic. They can't afford to hire counsel and the Legal Aid lawyers are underpaid and overworked.

The DOMA defenders don't have that problem, but they have a different problem. If any lawyer who represents them is going to be harassed and vilified, and the lawyer's phone number is going to be circulated so that people who don't like the client can pester the lawyer, then that will also be an impediment to justice.

When the Bush administration was trying to panic the nation by hurling wild accusations at Gitmo detainees, some lawyers came forward to defend the accused. They were denounced by right-wingers. The DUers who go after King & Spaulding are doing the same thing as those Bushbots did.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #38
44. +1
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #38
48. Not exactly, The House is acting outside its scope to work around the DOJ, which has discretion.
At any rate, K&S's decision is not depriving anyone of their day in court.
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alcibiades_mystery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #38
56. The House can surely find a lawyer who will represent them in this matter
They just won't be represented by this particular firm.

This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time, that something like this happened. Today.
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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #56
59. The question is whether anyone, especially progressives, should attack lawyers in this fashion
An example: In the suit by copyright troll Righthaven, DU is being represented without fee by the large corporate law firm of Winston & Strawn. The firm's paying clients include the likes of General Electric, Microsoft, and the New York Stock Exchange. How would you feel if right-wingers organized a campaign, modeled on the Human Rights Campaign's attack on King & Spaulding, in which conservatives urged these corporations to demand that Winston & Strawn stop representing DU?

Yes, DU could find other lawyers. (In fact, Winston & Strawn isn't alone on the DU defense team.) Nevertheless, the right to counsel shouldn't be curbed in any way by popular pressure. It's no answer to say that the right isn't completely abolished. It's just a very bad road to go down.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #59
60. Is "attack" an accurate term?
Is criticism now the same as "attack"?

Is boycott "attack"?
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alcibiades_mystery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #59
61. Coca Cola doesn't want to be associated with a business viewed as homophobic
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 07:03 PM by alcibiades_mystery
They have every right to hold that position, as they may be adversely affected by somebody else's decision. It's not an attack for them to ask the firm to choose. The firm can choose its cases or not based on its own business model and needs. This has always been the case for private lawyers.

People have the freedom of speech in this country. I arch my eyebrows at anybody who labels boycotts and activism as "attack." Right to counsel does not mean right to this counselor, and never has.
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #59
68. can you not just enjoy one, just one little bit of good news? geesh
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 09:19 PM by wordpix
Boner wants to spend $1/2 million or more of our tax dollars on this frivolous BS, getting into people's private lives and trampling equal rights. He and his ilk deserve to come crashing down.
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ruggerson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #38
63. Who the hell is "pestering" the lawyer?
Obviously this firm has strong ties to the LGBT legal community and ultimately decided that they did not want to align themselves with bigots.

They are a private firm. They have every right to choose whom they wish to represent.

Let Boehner and company find some lawyers from Liberty U or some other rightwing wacko outfit and proceed wioth their defense.
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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #38
64. so law firms that argued for racial segregation deserve our support?
or at least non-opposition to them proposing bigotry?

remember, in order to hear all cases, you are saying that we shouldn't oppose representation of cases of just blatant, outright racism and or other forms of bigotry.

in civil matters.

no.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #64
83. I notice he keeps posting, but he failed to respond to this excellent question.
Wonder why.
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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #83
85. You didn't read the whole thread.
At the time you asked why I hadn't answered this question, I had answered it several hours earlier (see #77).

I realize that it can be hard to keep track of a sprawling thread like this one. Nevertheless, I suggest that, before you insinuate that another DUer is dodging a question, you should make sure of your facts. If you didn't want to read the whole thread, you could have used Ctrl+F to search for my name, to check whether you were right about what I had or had not said.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #85
86. Okay, my apologies.
Thank you.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #10
20. This isn't a criminal case. There is no accused to defend.
This is the US House acting inappropriately.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Right, but I don't want people saying there was some conspiracy to deny DOMA...
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 01:25 PM by Recursion
...competent legal representation. I want us to beat a good lawyer, fair and square, on the public record.

Actually what I want is for Congress to overturn it, but this will have to do for now.
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AlbertCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #22
30.  I don't want people saying there was some conspiracy
Oh... someone will anyway. Who cares? There's always an Orly Taize-o-goon in the wings ready to bring up non-issues.
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #30
36. Remember, there are STILL people saying JFK stole it in '60...and that was half a century ago.
The other side NEVER admits it lost fair and square.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #30
37. By that standard, Obama should resign because people say he wasn't born in the US.
People will always allege conspiracies.

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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #22
35. Congress will never have the balls OR the ovaries to overturn it.
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 03:13 PM by Ken Burch
That was The Newter's whole point in shoving DOMA down Congress's throat(to repurpose the ugliest and most overused piece of double entendre in the other side's rhetorical quiver) in the first place. Introducing DOMA essentially FORCED most Dems to vote for it or to face the wrath of the Godstapo in any future election.

It's the same reason that school desegregation HAD to be imposed by the Supreme Court. It simply could never have made it through the U.S. Senate of the day, no matter what.
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
11. if the justice dept won't re-defend DOMA, will the GOP surrender
and now Obama can sorta take credit for knocking down a Republican cause for once? Still, this is good news.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
12. The new law firm that will be defending DOMA is Bancroft PLLC.
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 11:47 AM by Ian David
The new law firm that will be defending #DOMA is Bancroft PLLC. Please call their offices now!!! (202) 234-0090
http://twitter.com/#!/jakebgoodman/status/6255591544181...


DOMA Law Firm Ditches Case, Top Lawyer Paul Clement To Defend Law With Another Firm

<snip>

Shortly after the firm announced that it would no longer take the case Paul Clement, former solicitor general under President George W. Bush and the partner charged with leading the firm's defense, submitted his letter of resignation to Hays, which was obtained by The Huffington Post.

Clement will be joining Bancroft PLLC, according to a press release from that firm, which is led by former Bush administration officials. Viet Dinh, who was an assistant attorney general from 2001-'03, is a founding partner, and H. Christopher Bartolomucci, who served as an associate counsel to President Bush between 2001-'03, is a partner.

"Paul has argued 53 Supreme Court cases and knocked them out of the park," Dinh said in a statement. "He earned the respect of all the Justices and wowed the bar. Clients trust Paul and Bancroft with their biggest cases and toughest problems. Paul is a perfect fit with Bancroft, where we are building the next great law firm."

In his resignation letter, Clement stated that he will continue to represent the House on the case while at Bancroft.

More:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/25/law-firm-doma-...


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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
13. Law Firm Backs Out of Defending Marriage Act, Partner Resigns
Law Firm Backs Out of Defending Marriage Act, Partner Resigns
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR
snip

That decision prompted a high-profile resignation from the firm. Paul Clement, a former solicitor general under George Bush, had been slated to lead the defense of the law for the firm. He resigned in a letter today, saying the firm had a duty to resist pressure and complete the job for which it was hired.

I resign out of the firmly held belief that a representation should not be abandoned because the clients legal position is extremely unpopular in certain quarters. Defending unpopular clients is what lawyers do, Mr. Clement wrote. 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.
Mr. Clement wrote that his own, personal opinions about the marriage act are irrelevant and he did not indicate what they are. But he said he intends to continue representing the House in its defense of the marriage law as a partner at Bancroft PLLC, his new employer.

In this instance, my loyalty to the client and respect for the profession must come first, Mr. Clement wrote.

more:http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/25/law-firm-...
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Maybe, since he's JUST doing it out of respect for the client and his profession...
... Mr. Clement will donate his fees to The Human Rights Campaign or The Trevor Project?


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dballance Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. I Unfortunately Agree with Mr. Clement
If we are to continue to be a nation of laws I have to agree with Mr. Clement no matter how distasteful I find it. As a gay man I find the DOMA reprehensible and the Supreme Court should nullify it, in my opinion. But they must first find it unconstitutional or it is the law of the land until that happens. Congress is not always wise but it is the law of the land. No matter that their prejudices and stupidity play into their legislation, we must obide by it. Just as we obide when we agree with them.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. The DOJ already decided to not defend DOMA. That's the proper place for that decision.
It's not up to the House to act as a surrogate DOJ.
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dballance Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. The DOJ is Part of the Executive Branch
If the Executive felt it proper to veto the bill then it should have at the time. Clinton did not and that is a travesty. The attorney general has broad powers. But choosing not to enforce a law does not make that law invalid. Only congress, the courts, or the Executive can choose to invalidate a law. No matter how much I disagree with the law I cannot support just failing to enforce it until congress or the courts invalidate it. And no, I am not a Log Cabin Republican, self-hating homo. I am a patriot who loves his country.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Uh-huh.
:eyes: Right.
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dballance Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. So When the GOP Wants to Ignore The Law You're Okay With That?
Once the DOMA and other ignorant laws are overruled by the courts will you support the right-wing "Christians" who feel their personal beliefs are more important? If you feel you can ignore DOMA on "principle" than the people who oppose Brown v. The Board of Education and Roe v. Wade must be held in high regard by you.
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AlbertCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. dballance... may I suggest a great Shakespearian play to read:
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 02:34 PM by AlbertCat
Measure for Measure

It's about how pedantic views and enforcing all laws as if they are equally fair or important is detrimental and not just.


It also has my favorite Renaissance euphemism for having sex:

POMPEY (a "tapster" or pimp)
Yonder man is carried to prison.

MISTRESS OVERDONE (a "bawd")
Well; what has he done?

POMPEY
A woman.

MISTRESS OVERDONE
But what's his offence?

POMPEY
Groping for trouts in a peculiar river.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #31
34. That's right, but what makes this REALLY perverse is
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 03:01 PM by closeupready
that he claims explicitly that he is not a self-hating gay man; rather, he is "a patriot who loves his country".

So then does that mean Frederick Douglass was a traitor? Or what about MLK Jr.? Were they outlaws?

I mean, of course not. But it's perverse that people who CLAIM they are gay and who support enforcing homophobic laws ALSO claim they do not hate themselves. :crazy:
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. TheDOJ didn't invalidate DOMA per se - it used lawful discretion to opt to not defend it.
It's lawful.
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #23
45. Abide. Abide not obide.
Abide by the law. Geez. I can see the strings that hold the mask up.
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dballance Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #45
91. You Do Not Know Me
You certainly do not see strings on a mask because there is no mask. People who have degraded me only degrade themselves. It is a shame I am judged by people on DU just as the right-wing judges me because I do not fit their view of proper.

I am so disappointed with DU. It appears there is no room for unpopular opinions.

Once we decide to ignore laws because we do not agree with them then we are no better than than our opponents. No one who has derided me has put fourth a valid argument in opposition to my arguments.

Until it is okay for the GOP to ignore Equal Rights laws I will support and require our government to obey and enforce the law. Perhaps you will do the same.
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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #19
39. If the DoJ can decide not to defend a law, and no one else can then defend it, the consequence is...
that a President can unilaterally repeal any law that's ever been passed, without consulting Congress.

So, in 2013, when someone brings a case arguing that Obamacare (or, for that matter, Medicare or Social Security) is unconstitutional, and President Palin and Attorney General Taitz decide not to defend it in court, that's the end of the matter? These laws get overturned by default, with no Congressional voice in the matter?

Now, I don't really think Palin will be elected. But the general principle is that laws shouldn't be declared unconstitutional except by a court that's given a fair hearing to the arguments on the other side. If the DoJ chooses not to present those arguments, then someone else can and should.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. Elections have consequences. EOM
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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 02:43 AM
Response to Reply #40
76. If you think one consequence is that an elected President can unilaterally subvert duly enacted laws
then you and I are so far apart that further discussion is a waste of time.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #76
84. It's not what I *think" - it's a matter of fact. The DOJ is within its lawful discretion.
It is my opinion that the House is not.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #39
82. Ever hear the expression, "Let's cross that bridge when we get to it"?
That's my answer. Most of us don't care much how we get to equality.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
dballance Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. So When We Abandon Consistency What Will You Propose?
What exactly will you propose? Should we all just act however we feel and ignore the law? I doubt that is your intention. Further, please do not insult me for having an opinion. The fact I can see the opposing argument most likely demonstrates I do not have a "little mind." It is such a shame we have demonized the courts when they were put there for just the purpose to balance fairness. The tyranny of the majority should not stand. But that is for the courts or the legislature to decide. It is not for us as individuals to take on unless you propose revolution.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. You're just being overdramatic, IMO. Lots of laws go unenforced.
No reason to support enforcing this one over more benign ones - but hey, if you like feeling like a martyr, go for it, don't let me stop you. :hi:
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AlbertCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #29
43. You're just being overdramatic, IMO. Lots of laws go unenforced.
I'm sure he (she) NEVER committed sodomy or had oral sex when it was illegal.... or drove over the speed limit.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #43
52. Yep. Further, a uniform respect for all laws, just and unjust, mandates that you turn yourself in
to authorities for punishment if you have broken the law. Is there really any question that that didn't happen here ever?
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Hawaii Hiker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #15
28. Another reason to vote for Obama in 2012, to keep people like
Paul Clement off the Supreme Court...I'd bet Clement would be at top of SCOTUS list of any GOP shithead..
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. Oh, give me a break.
:eyes:
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #13
67. IOW, "as lawyers we must defend the indefensible," so this Bushie resigns. I love it!
:rofl: Good riddance
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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 03:31 AM
Response to Reply #13
77. Multiple responses bundled into one absurdly long post
Do any of you remember Charles Stimson, a Bush appointee in the Department of Defense? As his Wikipedia bio states:

In January 2007 he made comments concerning the legal representation of Guantnamo detainees stating that "corporate CEOs seeing this should ask firms to choose between lucrative retainers and representing terrorists."<9> The Pentagon later issued a statement that Mr. Stimson's comments were not representative of Pentagon policy.<10><11>


He resigned the next month because of the furor justly aroused by his statement -- his attempt to impede someone's legal representation by going after any law firm that dared to take the case, and trying to change the firm's decision by working through its paying clients. There was a widespread belief in legal circles that, whatever you thought of the Gitmo detainees and the cases against them, and whatever you thought of the legal merits of their position, it was wrong to try to dissuade or deter a lawyer or law firm by means of an attack of that sort. (Stimson wound up at the right-wing Heritage Foundation. Some right-wingers, like some DUers, don't agree with that general principle.)

And, yes, it is an "attack" on a law firm to try to induce the firm's clients to threaten to abandon it if it takes an unpopular case. The TPM article (linked in #47) is very revealing. It shows that the Human Rights Campaign knew perfectly well that it might scare the firm off the case by combining public criticism with economic pressure -- targeting the firm's pocketbook and the lawyers' livelihoods. You bet that's an attack.

Some comments here seem to impliedly concede that this practice was wrong as to the Gitmo defense lawyers, but say it's OK in this instance because this isn't a criminal case. I don't see any principled basis for that distinction. In civil and criminal cases, our judicial system is based on the idea that everyone gets his or her day in court, and that the final decision is made only after all sides have had the full and fair opportunity to present their evidence and arguments.

For example, some lawyers and law firms took the unpopular cases of LGBT people who wanted to get married, in states that didn't allow it. How would you feel if the National Organization for Marriage contacted other clients of those firms and urged them to urge the lawyers to back off? In other words, if the opponents of marriage equality used exactly the same tactic as the Human Rights Campaign has, would you then see that, even beyond your disagreement with NOM's goal, the tactic itself is an improper one? As alcibiades_mystery correctly states (#61), clients who urged a law firm to abandon unpopular gay and lesbian clients would merely be exercising their freedom of speech. NOM would be exercising its freedom of speech in mounting such a campaign. That doesn't prevent me from exercising my freedom to say that trying to achieve a political goal by undermining one side's ability to be heard in court is a tactic that's corrosive of fundamental American values -- values that, overall, are much more likely to work in favor of LGBT people than against them.

In #63, ruggerson wants to know who's "pestering" lawyers. See #12, in which a DUer posts the phone number for the office of the law firm that will now handle the case, and writes, "Please call their offices now!!!" So, because a law firm has agreed to accept an unpopular cause, members of the public who dislike the cause are urged to phone the firm, presumably to express their disapproval. Is the receipt of large numbers of such calls "pestering"? I'd say so.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was subjected to constitutional challenges. CreekDog (#64) asks whether "law firms that argued for racial segregation deserve our support?" It depends on what you mean by "support." Even some of the DUers who applaud the campaign to pressure King & Spaulding would apparently admit that people have a right to counsel. I support the legal right of racists to bring lawsuits espousing the theory that the Civil Rights Act was unconstitutional. I support the right of law firms to represent such challengers, whether or not the firm agrees with the racists. I support a fair and open judicial process, in which law firms that are contemplating such representation are not subjected to economic pressure to reject an unpopular client. I would not agree with the substance of the challenge, however, so I would not support it in the sense of publicly endorsing it, let alone by contributing to a fund being raised to cover legal expenses incurred in the attempt to invalidate the law.

What actually happened was that the segregationists were able to find counsel to bring their cases all the way to the Supreme Court, where they lost. A better question might be: "Would the cause of racial justice in the United States have been advanced if, instead, the racists had found it difficult or impossible to retain counsel, because of economic pressure brought to bear on any firm that considered taking their case?" I believe the answer is No -- it was better for the civil rights movement to win a fair fight in court. (I agree with the point made by Recursion in #22.)

Now, having written all this (apologies to you TLDR folks), I have the feeling that I've largely wasted my time. Most people, on the left and on the right, approach political disputes as if they were football games. There are two sides wearing different colors, and you root for your team. DOMA bad. Defense of DOMA bad. Impeding defense of DOMA good. Substitute "Gitmo detainees" for "DOMA" and you have the Bushbot position. As for those of us complaining that our side has used an objectionable tactic -- well, that's a nuance, and John Kerry discovered how well nuance fares in contemporary American politics.
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #77
79. Are we sure this firm was pressured into withdrawing?
Did I miss something? Are the taxpayers funding this and if so is this an accepted procedure to clarify legal issues or a way of skewing things to ones own agenda?
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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #79
88. Yes, there was pressure.
It's clear that there was pressure. According to the TPM story to which I referred, there was "private pressure" (TPM's words). TPM based its reporting in part on a phone interview with an officer of the Human Rights Campaign, Fred Sainz:

According to Sainz, HRC "had already started contacting their clients. ... (King & Spalding was) starting to hear from companies that this was causing those companies a great deal of consternation, and they might have to rethink their relationships ."


So, in an important litigation raising constitutional issues, we have big corporations using their economic power to impede the ability of one side to be represented in court. That power is being used against the side that we dislike -- this time. If you have complete faith that the Coca-Colas of this world will always act beneficently in the public interest, then you'll have no problem with what happened.

As for the funding, I'm not clear on the details, but I think that government funds will be used to pay private lawyers to do the work that DoJ declined. We have a law (DOMA) that was enacted by an elected Congress and signed into law by an elected President (one who actually got more votes than his opponent, I might add). I don't support that law, but I support the general principle that, when a law of the United States is challenged in court, it's reasonable for the United States government to defend it, through the DoJ or through use of public funds to hire outside counsel. It's not "skewing things" to make sure that the position adopted by the people's elected representatives is adequately presented in court.

I don't know whether any similar situation has arisen before, so I don't know if this is an accepted procedure or a novel response to a novel problem.

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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #88
92. I do not have a problem with representation for
any viewpoint. What I do have a problem with is funding a particular viewpoint and that is what I see this as being. I would have the same problem with either my side of things or another. Researching and presenting facts for or against a law seems like a reasonable thing to do. If you are pushing one side, then don't use my money.
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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #92
94. What about the lawsuits against the health insurance reform package?
Right-wingers wasted no time bringing suits arguing that "Obamacare" was unconstitutional. AFAIK the DoJ is defending those cases. That means that taxpayer money is "funding a particular viewpoint" and "pushing one side" of the argument.

You say "don't use my money." What if a right-winger said the same thing about the health-care litigation?

To my mind, it's reasonable to use taxpayer money to defend the constitutionality of a duly enacted law. In the case of DOMA, the real fault, obviously, is with the elected officials who enacted it and who haven't repealed it.
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #94
95. I stand by what I say. Using funds only to gather and
present facts and legal precedents.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #77
80. Naturally, if you are a lawyer, you are going to defend them from perceived "attacks".
nt
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #77
81. You didn't address the DOMA contract that forbid all K&S employees from advocating
against DOMA, even on their own personal time.

Do you think that was worth protesting/criticizing/pressuring?

Or was that okay?
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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #81
89. I've never heard of a clause like that, and it's highly objectionable.
If I'd been a King & Spalding partner on the client review committee, I would've disagreed with the argument that we should reject the case because we shouldn't represent homophobes. I would, however, have voted against accepting this particular contract, because of that provision. I would've favored telling Boehner, "You can't muzzle our hundreds of lawyers who aren't working on your case. You can hire our firm to present good-faith legal arguments in court, but only if you drop that provision from the retainer agreement."

King & Spalding, as a private entity, has the right to practice employment discrimination on any basis not prohibited by law. Therefore, the firm has the right to say to its partners and employees, "You can't publicly disagree with DOMA or you'll be fired." (That might be illegal in New York City, which has a municipal ordinance prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but I'm guessing that there are no such laws governing the firm's main office in Atlanta.) Nevertheless, it's bizarre that a major firm would take such a position. I'm guessing that some people at King & Spalding didn't pay enough attention to the fine print. They were probably aware that there would be public criticism of the representation on any terms, and they were focused on that, so they overlooked the clause you mention.

Another point is that, although King & Spalding is a private entity, the House of Representatives is not. Boehner has control over dispensing a government benefit (public funds for legal fees). If he insists on that clause, then he's saying that anyone exercising their First Amendment right to criticize DOMA will be penalized by the government, by being barred from competing for this contract. I think that demand by Boehner is unconstitutional. He could probably insist that First Amendment rights be waived to the extent that's reasonably related to the purpose of the contract (e.g., Mr. Clement, the lawyer who'll be appearing in court, shouldn't make any public statements indicating his disagreement with the position he'll be advocating, because that would impair the advocacy for which he's being paid). Extending the gag order beyond the lawyers who'll be working on the case, however, is not reasonable, and therefore unconstitutional.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #89
90. I'd suggest that that clause is what put this contract over the top.
It must have caused quite the ruckus internally, especially with some staff already quite involved in LGBT advocacy.

I doubt the clause was simply "overlooked" and wonder if there wasn't some less than honest dealings among those who accepted the contract, which then burdened the firm.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #77
87. Okay, so with regard to your response to the racial segregationist questions,
it is false to suggest that people here on DU generally support taking away the right to seek counsel.

What I object to is the notion that we have to like it, either in that case or in this one, since the aims of these organizations (like the KKK) is despicable.

I also object to the implication that those who do not like it have to remain silent.
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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #87
93. Let's be practical about the right to counsel
Edited on Wed Apr-27-11 12:31 AM by Jim Lane
You write that "it is false to suggest that people here on DU generally support taking away the right to seek counsel." It's a gray area. Literally, you're correct that homophobes or racists or whoever would be able to seek counsel. Many on DU, however, are happy about the use of economic pressure to impede that search for counsel.

Flip it around. In an ultraconservative rural county, with only a few lawyers practicing in the county seat, the local teabaggers (who are dominant there) let it be known that they don't like the Social Security disability program, that they think disability claimants are mostly shirkers and fraudsters, and that they don't want lawyers to represent people in filing claims or in appealing denials. The loss of teabagger and teabagger-influenced business would be devastating, so all the lawyers in the county refuse to take disability cases. Disability claimants can still find counsel somewhere. It's just much less convenient for them than if the teabaggers hadn't launched this campaign. Of course, the teabaggers say that they support everyone's right to seek counsel. It's just that they consider the aims of the disability claimants to be despicable, and -- well, just take most of the comments in this thread and rewrite them for the teabaggers. It won't be hard. My hypothetical is based directly on the campaign that was launched to get King & Spalding to drop the DOMA case.

In that hypothetical teabagger situation, would you see anything wrong with the teabagger tactic, as a tactic, aside from the fact that you disagree with them about Social Security? I'd have no problem condemning their actions. That's because I say that it's wrong to interfere with people's legal representation. I'd tell them, "You don't have to like what the lawyers are doing. Just don't try to subject them to economic backlash for taking an unpopular case."

If you don't agree with the moral argument, at least be pragmatic. The other side has more economic power than we do. This is a bad road for progressives to go down.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #93
96. Never mind. self-delete
Edited on Wed Apr-27-11 10:42 AM by closeupready
Let's agree to disagree. Cheers. :)
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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #96
97. Agree to disagree is fine.
And, in case it matters at all to you, I'll readily concede that those of us who are unhappy with what the Human Rights Campaign did are in the minority on DU.
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RT Atlanta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
17. Resignation Letter
I will add that this is about as nicely written a resignation letter as I have seen in a while.

http://www.atlawblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Pau...
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
32. DOMA should be declared unconstitutional.
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Historic NY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
41. The Repuke congressman who are lawyers should defend it....
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 04:09 PM by Historic NY
what are they getting paid for.......if they think its so important. Why should the taxpayers get stuck with the bill? Boner must think they are a bunch of incapable twits.
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
42. HEh./........Up your NOSE, Boner!!!!!!
:rofl:
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
46. My sneaking suspicion:
DOMA gets repealed, Pugs have "We tried!"

All agreed in advance; probably as part of another agreement(s).

:tinfoilhat:
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
47. Fascinating look at what happened behind the scenes at K&S
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #47
58. very interesting, thanks for the post
:toast:
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #47
69. going out to buy some Coke for mom's bday tomorrow---thanks CC!
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #47
72. OMG yes! Way to go Coca-Cola!!!!
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 09:28 PM by closeupready
:woohoo: Thank you, thank you!
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SkyDaddy7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
49. Why is Nancy Pelosi taking part in this?
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 05:20 PM by SkyDaddy7
And why is DU giving her a pass? I love Nancy Pelosi but she deserves to be scorned for taking part in trying to defend DOMA!

What am I missing?


However, this is very good news & funny at the same time!

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ShadowLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #49
50. She's not, she's repeatedly spoken against the house's involvement in defending DOMA
Just today she continued criticized the house GOP over defending DOMA after the law firm dropped out.
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SkyDaddy7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #50
53. That is good news if true...So, why then do they keep reporting...
this House defense of DOMA is a bipartisan effort via the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) which includes Nancy Pelosi & Steny Hoyer? Seriously, read this story it says exactly this.

John Boehner has even mentioned having communication with Nancy Pelosi on this issue.

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SkyDaddy7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:14 PM
Original message
OK...I have found articles showing that Nancy Pelosi is...
Not in favor of the House trying to defend DOMA! WOO-HOO!!!

However, I am confused as to why they keep reporting that this move to defend DOMA is "bipartisan" & is via the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group which does include her? I need to do more reading I gues.

I wonder if Steny Hoyer is for or against defending DOMA?
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alcibiades_mystery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
62. The Legal Advisory Group is bipartisan, but acts on behalf of the majority
Your post is a bit like saying that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in favor of the Ryan budget because she happens to sit on the House budget committee, which recommended the bill. As it stands, the House Legal Advisory Group has three Republicans and two Democrats. You do the math.
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SkyDaddy7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 06:41 AM
Response to Reply #62
78. OK, thanks! I feel a bit dumb but one does not learn...
without making a few mistakes. I clearly was not thinking! LOL! YIKES! Thank-you for clearing things up.
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SkyDaddy7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #50
54. OK...I have found articles showing that Nancy Pelosi is...
Not in favor of the House trying to defend DOMA! WOO-HOO!!!

However, I am confused as to why they keep reporting that this move to defend DOMA is "bipartisan" & is via the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group which does include her? I need to do more reading I gues.

I wonder if Steny Hoyer is for or against defending DOMA?
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 05:35 PM
Response to Original message
51. I still want to know where the money was going to come from to pay them.
I mean, like FULL disclosure.
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SkyDaddy7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #51
55. John Boehner said he was going to fund it...
by taking the money from the Justice Dept. Budget!
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #55
70. if not that, it's the "Stick My Nose into Other People's Private Parts" Fund
ewwwwww
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DemoTex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
57. President Jimmy Carter's AG was Griffin Bell, of King & Spalding
My niece is a lawyer with K&S. Glad to hear this news.
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
65. Another small step forward. nt
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #65
71. could it be the Corporatocracy is starting to Get It?
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Scottybeamer70 Donating Member (844 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:29 PM
Response to Original message
74. Heh
Guess he'll have to take his "boehner" somewhere else......
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