Main | Monday, April 25, 2011

BREAKING: Law Firm King & Spalding Backs Out Of House DOMA Defense

No confirmation is yet available, but the above HuffPo tweet is blowing up on Twitter right now. If true, stand by for NOM to get the vapors.

UPDATE: Politico confirms the story. King & Spalding has issued the below statement.
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.
Stand by for the screaming outrage! I can't wait!

UPDATE II: The Human Rights Campaign reacts.
“King & Spalding has rightly chosen to put principle above politics in dropping its involvement in the defense of this discriminatory and patently unconstitutional law. We are pleased to see the firm has decided to stand on the right side of history and remain true to its core values. Speaker Boehner is likely to pursue continued defense of this odious law. However, law firms that value LGBT equality should remain committed to those values.”
UPDATE III: Lambda Legal's Jon Davidson reacts.
"Today, we learned once again that it is a bad idea to defend antigay bias and discrimination in court, and fewer and fewer people are willing to do it. We welcome the news that the law firm, King and Spalding, has decided to withdraw from the engagement to represent House leadership in defending DOMA. We were very surprised and disappointed when King and Spalding accepted this assignment, because they have been supporters of LGBT equality in the past. We thought we might have to face them in court as adversaries in our case, Golinski v. OPM - and we were ready to do that. But I guess their sense of justice got the better of them - and that's good news for all of us. Some attorney will no doubt accept this job and defend DOMA in court on behalf of the House leaders - that's the way the legal system works. We're just glad it is not a law firm that has shown respect and support for their own LGBT attorneys, for our community and for our fight for equality. We welcome the firm back to the right side of history."

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