April 25, 2011

Former Solicitor General Paul Clement quits King & Spalding over his defending the Defense of Marriage Act.

He writes:
"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... 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."
Politico's Ben Smith reported the firm's withdrawal from the case as "a real victory for supporters of same-sex marriage -- and marking what seems like real marginalization for its foes." It quoted the chairman of the firm, Robert D. Hays, Jr., saying: "In reviewing this assignment further, I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate." I'd love to hear the gory details.

Anyway, we talked about Clement's role last week, here. I said:
I would like to see the Defense of Marriage Act go, and I encouraged the Obama administration to decline to defend it, but I don't think it's "indefensible," and in fact, it deserves to be defended, and the House Republicans did the right thing in hiring Clement. The country deserves a well-briefed, well-argued case presented to the Supreme Court. The other side is already represented by Theodore Olson, another former Solicitor General. I hope Olson wins, but not because he's the better lawyer. It is absolutely fitting that he be matched with a lawyer of equal stature, skill, and will to prevail.

130 comments:

carrie said...

Can speculate on the gory details?

Jay Retread said...

Good. They don't want to be on the wrong side of history. Defending Defense of Marriage Act would be like defending Jim Crow.

The Drill SGT said...

classy letter.

ethical decision.

law firm? not so much...

GulfofMexico said...

Government-sponsored marriage should be eliminated. For everyone. It should be none of the government's business. Dream on, I know.

vbspurs said...

The other side is already represented by Theodore Olson, another former Solicitor General.

Ted Olson is living his life as if he doesn't JUST want to be remembered for being the widow of Barbara Olson, one of the passengers of AA Flight 77 on 9/11. I've read his name in more high-profile cases this past decade, than any other lawyer out there.

They said that John Roberts was the finest SCOTUS attorney to appear before the bench, of his generation.

If he had any judicial experience, Ted Olson, with his credentials and skill, normally would be considered on top of the list to be a Justice during a Republican administration.

The Drill SGT said...

Jay Retread said...
Good. They don't want to be on the wrong side of history. Defending Defense of Marriage Act would be like defending Jim Crow.


It is the law of the land. Until repealed, it needs to be defended by somebody:

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

The Obama administration seems to want to pick and chose the laws it wants enforced.

vbspurs said...

...widower. Very few people use that term anymore, and not just because women live even longer these days, than they used to. I've even seen "widow" to describe a man.

Pogo said...

"but I don't think it's "indefensible," and in fact, it deserves to be defended"

Sure. One of the pillars of Western Civilization needs to be 'defended' by a lawyer, rather than by the vote, because the elites know they'll lose the vote.

Burn marriage, and the Bible, and the flag, and freedom of the market (health care), and freedom to travel (Boeing), but do not burn the Koran.

vbspurs said...

The Drill Sgt quoted:

And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it,

The "and you're just the man to do it" backhanded compliment is what makes this little passage genius.

Michael said...

Criminal defense lawyers don't let people sneer at them for defending scumbags and monsters (even though many of them identify with and advocate for cop-killers like Mumia)

The army of lawyers that went to Gitmo to advocate on behalf of Taliban and Al Qaeda members don't let people call them unpatriotic (even though their high-priced law firms have lucrative contracts with Arab-owned companies that want to back the Taliban and Al Qaeda)

Why should this law firm be embarrassed to defend an American law passed by Congress and signed by Bill Clinton? Why should this law firm back down, instead of ripping its critics a new asshole? Shame on King & Spaulding.

Phil 3:14 said...

He should have joined the ACLU. They love "Defending unpopular clients", right?

edutcher said...

Note the phrase "in certain quarters". English translation: with the Lefty establishment.

Jay Retread said...

Good. They don't want to be on the wrong side of history. Defending Defense of Marriage Act would be like defending Jim Crow.

The "wrong side of history" at one time was the opposition to Communism in Africa.

PS Clement writes, "the client's legal position is extremely unpopular in certain quarters. Defending unpopular clients is what lawyers do". Lefty lawyers do it all the time, but that's always to advance the agenda.

PPS Thank you for specifying "widower", mum. Nice to see the English language defended along with the fact that there are fundamental differences between men and women.

Which, in the case of men regarding women, should always be respected.

Ut said...

"In reviewing this assignment further, I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate."

Here are the details: The wind changed direction.

It's become clear that Barack Obama's hatred of gay people is going to cost him the 2012 election. And so he's doing everything he can to suck up to the gays.

Pun intended.

But make no mistake about it: Barack Obama cannot stand gay people. He finds them icky.

The Drill SGT said...

@vbspurs said...

I think my favorite is:

Sir Thomas More: Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for Wales?

vbspurs said...

Pogo wrote:

Burn marriage, and the Bible, and the flag, and freedom of the market (health care), and freedom to travel (Boeing), but do not burn the Koran.

And just to sledgehammer this point home to the irredeemably stupid out there, conservatives aren't saying we want to burn the Koran. In fact, nothing could be more distasteful to us than to burn a holy tract -- Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Zoroastrian.

What Pogo is saying is that we're tired of having our values be fair game for derision, or dimunition, whilst other ones are raised aloft as untouchable, just because the sole criteria is "all things traditional".

I bet you anything many people wouldn't mind the overarching aims of the public school system in educating our kids about all things politically correct, if prayer in schools could exist alongside, not because ALL conservatives are so gung-ho on prayer, but because it's balanced that way.

The Drill SGT said...

@vbspurs said...

Victoria,

I had not considered it at the time, but it's interesting that the post on DOMA gets quotes from "Man for All Seasons" which concerns of course the "defense of the King's marriage", among other things like, principles, truth, and the corruption of all politicans

rcocean said...

Ted Olsen was responsible for Souter and the infamous 'quota bill' during the Bush I administration. He's always been a "wet" - And no doubt a President Romney or Pawlenty would love to put him on the SCOTUS - and winning points with NYT. Don't think Palin would.

hombre said...

The "wrong side of history" at one time was the opposition to Communism in Africa.

The "wrong side of history" in this country used to be the left ignoring the atrocities of Stalinist Russia in order to further their own Marxist agenda.

Today, not so much, at least the "agenda" part.

vbspurs said...

Drill Sgt, now that you mention it, that's right! We really need to see "A Man for All Seasons" again. What a brilliant movie (although Wendy Hiller was woefully underused).

vbspurs said...

If Roe v Wade is the "right side of history", then I'm gleefully proud to be on the wrong side of it.

Jon said...

This is why the polls now showing a slight majority supporting gay marriage are worthless. All they really show is that, in the midst of an environment of intimidation against those who oppose gay marriage, a majority aren't willing to tell a stranger on the phone that they oppose it.

Hagar said...

For some folks, a victory is a victory, however gained, even in a matter of principle.

gerry said...

We don't know what our genitalia is for, anymore.

And, if one thinks the social institution of marriage is undefinable - which is what same-sex marriage stipulates - just look at what removing marriage has done for a major American subculture: African-Americans.

Erik said...

I'd much rather have the law go down definitively after being well defended than have it go down undefended. Leave no argument uninvoked; bring every argument to bear in its defense. And when it lies dead in the dirt where it belongs, let us be sure that there is no chance of it rearing its ugly head again.

In the end, though, I'm with GulfofMexico on this: there's no real purpose for having government involved in marriage. Perhaps in the past there was, but no longer. The entanglements outweigh the benefits, and have for some time. Privatize it. Let churches handle it along with justices of the peace. There's no reason why my unrelated moral qualms should constrain the choices of someone else.

Chuck66 said...

The problem with gay marriage is that the pro-gay marriage side has pledged a scorched-earth policy. Destroy anyone and any institutions that don't submit.

Examples....many. From the Boy Scouts and the Catholic church, down to photographers who refuse to take a job photographing a gay marriage.

Quayle said...

Good. They don't want to be on the wrong side of history. Defending Defense of Marriage Act would be like defending Jim Crow.

Wrong. You miss the crucial distinction that slavery was frowned upon even back in the Old Testament and antithetical to the teaching of the New Testament.

In supporting slavery, Christian Americans were going against their core theology, the strongest and most frequently made of MLK's arguments.

Similar historical or theological roots of pro-homosexuality do not exist.

There will be no MLK-figure pointing out how Christians deny their theology when they oppose gay marriage because there is no such theology.

The most gay proponents can claim is that Christ said to judge not and to be kind and pray for your "enemies."

Erik said...

I tend to agree with Chuck. I sometimes wonder if pro-gay marriage activists had taken a more measured approach to institutions if they might have made more progress by now.

MadisonMan said...

down to photographers who refuse to take a job photographing a gay marriage

Has that appeal been settled?

(I'm assuming you mean the case in New Mexico).

shoutingthomas said...

Good. They don't want to be on the wrong side of history. Defending Defense of Marriage Act would be like defending Jim Crow.

The usual idiot statement.

Middle class spoiled rotten kids are just like blacks in the Jim Crow south.

Please get this crap over with so I don't have to listen to it any more.

Let two lawyers and a judge decide this for all of us so that Althouse and her fraternity can bypass the bigot voters.

Will it be over then or will the spoiled brats find something else to bitch over?

Chuck66 said...

Erik, I am opposed to gay-marriage, but am also a libertarian-conservative, so if a bunch of gay people want to have civil committements....fine. But the problem is that they want to destroy anyone who doesn't agree.

Another example? Bakery in Cleveland in a public market. Gays wanted a special order for gay-rights days. Bakery does not do special orders so refused the job. They said they will sell them anything already made. City forced the bakery to close.

Another? Bed and Breakfast in Illinois said they have no problem with gay couples staying there, but will not host a gay "marriage" on their grounds. Gay right folks are trying to get the business closed.

Another? There are many more.

Not sure what the end result was with the NM photography thing. Last I heard was that the gay crowd was trying to get the lady's photography business closed.

The Drill SGT said...

Well Althouse, I put a few cents in your pocket, so if you look over your Amazon returns and see "A Man for all Seasons" on there, that's my little contribution

Chuck66 said...

Blacks in Jim Crow south are the same as gays in the US today? Riigght.

I used to work for a large company in their corporate offices. This company banned use of the word "Chirstmas", but on gay days would hang the rainbow flag all over the corporate campus and show gay-rights propaganda films in the campus theater. Yeah, it's just like facing fire hoses in Selma.

traditionalguy said...

King & Spalding is a very conservative law firm. If they no longer plan to defend the Protection of Marriage Act, then this battle is probably over.

shoutingthomas said...

This is the weak spot in your intellect, Althouse.

I've seen it so often in lawyers.

You think that, because you have a superior intellect, that you and your fraternity have the right to rule others.

The arrogance is outrageous.

The voters have deep sixed this crap every time they've had the opportunity to do so.

And you want to override the voters by what really amounts to administrative decree by your fraternity.

Horrible arrogance on your part, Althouse. But, not surprising from a lawyer. As I said, I learned another trade and got out of the legal field precisely to get away from your arrogance and that of lawyers like you.

The brilliant intellects of lawyers served us very well in the mortgage meltdown and the bailout kickbacks, didn't it? And, that was all accomplished by administrative decree by you marvelously brilliant lawyers.

Kevin said...

King and Spalding:

Defending the Defense of Marriage Act - unacceptable

Defending Islamic terrorists at Guantanamo - praiseworthy

Pogo said...

It'll be over when the Dearborn Press and Guide newspaper prints the nuptials ...without fear.

Lucien said...

Paul Clement is of course an able lawyer, and so easily conflates the idea of defending unpopular clients with the idea of defending an unpopular position. No one thinks that the client -- the United States Congress -- is unpopular or that King & Spaulding refuse to represent it.

Part of the reason that attorneys feel free and sometimes obligated, to represent unpopular clients is that they often are not, by doing so, representing the positions or ideas of the client.

It may be quite right to defend the rights of say, the Westbro Baptist Church, under the First Amendment, but it is another thing to espouse its positions, and quite proper for a law firm to decline to do so.

AJ Lynch said...

Up is down and down is up as long as the PC crowd gets what it wants. But no matter how much we capitulate and give in, the PC crowd can never reach its ultimate objective because Mother Nature has decreed that girls and boys are very different [with some exceptions- Rachel Maddow I am talking to you].

MadisonMan said...

Not sure what the end result was with the NM photography thing. Last I heard was that the gay crowd was trying to get the lady's photography business closed.

Last I heard is the photographer lost to a Human Rights Commission, or some such thing and appealed to an actual Court. In my World, the photographer would win, then be rewarded all Court Costs. And the whiner Lesbo who filed the grievance would be fined big time. (What, she couldn't find another photographer? People who go looking to sue someone should be shamed)

shoutingthomas said...

So, tell us, Althouse, what role do you see for the voters?

What do we get to decide after you and your lawyer friends decide all the important stuff among yourselves?

I gather we voters get all the issues you and your lawyers' guild decide aren't "bigot" issues. But, you also get to decide what issues are "bigot" issues.

So, does that leave anything at all for the voters?

Real American said...

The Gay left can't even stand the other side having a lawyer. That says all you need to know about their "cause."

peter hoh said...

I don't have a lot of time, but my first thoughts are that I don't like this development. The process, in order to be trusted, requires that DOMA be defended as well as possible.

The activists who are practicing a scorched earth policy on this are making a mistake.

The cause of same-sex marriage is winning. I know it's not fast enough for some, but it's time for proponents to start acting like it.

On a related note, I ran across this last night: a defense of the funding shift re. DOMA.

Titus said...

I am one of the few courageous gays that do not support gay marriage.


It is a lonely place and I have lost many life long friends because of my view but I am still standing strong.

Thank you.

vbspurs said...

Brave Titus: a gay man standing alone on the ramparts of our culture wars.

It sounds like I'm being facetious, but believe me, I am not.

Erik said...

Chuck, I understand that we disagree on the broader point. But as far as intent to destroy some institutions and businesses, yes, we agree. It's one reason I have mixed feelings about gay marriage: I find the activists' tactics quite distasteful, on top of my (admittedly anecdotal) experience of gays as not being terribly interested in marriage to begin with.

Having spent enough time among opponents of gay marriage, I find the idea that opposition is somehow rooted in hatred or the kind of bigotry that led to Jim Crow to be foolish. With the disagreement so tied up in individual identity (religious, cultural, sexual, etc.) everyone seems to take things personally. It makes cordial disagreement very difficult.

Trooper York said...

Did you know that Chasity Bono has a new relatity show about her quest to become a man named Chaz instead of being the daughter of Sonny and Cher.

Her big compliant that they don't have a procedure where they can sew a fully functional dick on.

I think she is going to sue.

Not the there is anything wrong with that.

Chuck66 said...

Titus, I did not know that about you.

Erik, one thing I find interesting is that anti-gay bigots do not go to heavily gay areas or institutions and try to force their views on them. Example, when was the last time an anti-gay group went to Madison or San Francisco and brought a law suit against some pro-gay group?
But look at what your side does. The largest private charitable organization in the world, Catholic Charities, can't even set up adaptions anymore due to your side's scortched earth policy. You may have heard, but the phrase is "you don't want to piss off the gaystapo".

Look at California. The pro-gay people fund out where people who donated to support Prop 8 work, and picketed the workplace. This isn't the owner or senior mgmt. If you are a dishwasher at an eatery and gave $50 to anti-gay rights causes, you could see picketers at your work place.

hombre said...

The problem with gay marriage is that the pro-gay marriage side has pledged a scorched-earth policy

The problem with gay marriage is that it isn't about gay marriage. Civil union is perfectly adequate to satisfy any rational need. Gay marriage is just the next step in a process. There will be more.

Another problem is that libertarians, liberals, including the mediaswine, and consequently many others have ceased to distinguish between supporting "liberty" and supporting "libertine" behavior.

The accompanying, perhaps consequential, dissolution in and of the United States is also a mystery to them.

PaulV said...

The Drill SGT said...
@vbspurs said...

I think my favorite is:

Sir Thomas More: Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for Wales?

4/25/11 11:29 AM

Having Huguenot forbears, my favorite is "Paris is worth a mass"

Pogo said...

@hombre said...
"The problem with gay marriage is that it isn't about gay marriage. ...Gay marriage is just the next step in a process. There will be more."

For the left, it's Never Enough.

Gay marriage won't be enough; one will have to 'celebrate it'. All businesses will be so required, else they be sued to nonexistence.

All show bow before the hegemony of the left, where only power matters, and the job is never done, not until Nature itself cries Uncle.

traditionalguy said...

That is enough already out of you Breeders. Marriage will be needed to survive in the Dollar's Apocalypse rolling down hill at everyone.

Chuck66 said...

I always thought the next step was polygamy. But now it looks like doing away with genders is next in line. No more Mens and Womens bathrooms for example.

hombre said...

Althouse wrote: I would like to see the Defense of Marriage Act go, and I encouraged the Obama administration to decline to defend it, but I don't think it's "indefensible," and in fact, it deserves to be defended, and the House Republicans did the right thing in hiring Clement.

I don't quite get this.

If it deserves to be defended, why not by the Executive Branch representatives who are obliged, if not constitutionally, at least traditionally, to defend it?

If Althouse believes the AG will lay down on the case - Holder's past suggests he is capable of such dishonorable behavior - then I can see her point. Otherwise her positions appear to be, er, contradictory.

Renee said...

President Obama says fathers are important in their children's lives, while the First lady advocates that moms should breastfeed. Yet, if I acknowledge that there is a relationship of obligation as one for the benefit of the child created from their sexual behavior, that's somehow wrong under our Constitution.

Short-term I may be on the wrong side of U.S. History, but long term I realize the importance of fathers being equally involved with their children as mothers are.

Yes, even the ones who happen to gay.

I think we need to reverse the point of view of marriage, it's not a right rather it's an obligation. Because men get women pregnant, we acknowledge where babies come from and we want people to be accountable and promote healthy responsible behavior to their children. 'Matrimony' means the act of becoming a mother.

Our laws are suppose to represent resemble the truth. Right? Or just special interests, like the financially powerful gay lobby?

We shouldn't discriminate on orientation. But we're not talking about orientation, the state of being. One is gay or straight without being in a sexual relationship or engaging in sexual activity.

Human sexuality is fertile in nature, it creates children through heterosexual activity. We as a society can and do ignore that fact, but that doesn't do us much good I think in terms of public policy and what we should value.

I might go down as labeled as things I know I'm not, like 'a hateful bigot'. Oh well, that may be my fate. I must accept.

Renee Aste
Lowell, Massachusetts

Beldar said...

Prof. Althouse, I can't reconcile your positions that the Obama Administration's DoJ ought not defend the DOMA, yet that it is "not indefensible" and "deserves to be defended."

It seems to me like you're saying that the executive branch officials, including the Attorney General and Solicitor General, can pretty much ignore their oaths whenever they feel like it. With due and genuine respect, it seems a shabby and incoherent position, on which you're doubling down by repeating it.

As for King & Spaulding: Their partnership is gutless and should be ashamed. They've proved themselves undeserving of a principled and ethical lawyer like Paul Clement.

MayBee said...

Criminal defense lawyers don't let people sneer at them for defending scumbags and monsters

Which is why this very firm does pro-bono work for Gitmo detainees.

Ut said...

"Prof. Althouse, I can't reconcile your positions that the Obama Administration's DoJ ought not defend the DOMA, yet that it is "not indefensible" and "deserves to be defended."
"

This position seems nonsensical and indefensible to me as well. Every time I read it, I can't figure out what the hell she's saying.

The Executive has an obligation to vigorously defend the laws passed by the Legislature.

If not ... then we should remember that precedent once we take over.

Some good times a'comin.

MayBee said...

I love the idea of being on the wrong side of history. As if the future of history is a foregone conclusion.

President Obama likes to talk about history as a force as well. It is his main weapon against the tyrants of the middle east.

hombre said...

Chuck wrote: Erik, one thing I find interesting is that anti-gay bigots do not go to heavily gay areas or institutions and try to force their views on them....But look at what your side does. The largest private charitable organization in the world, Catholic Charities, can't even set up adaptions anymore due to your side's scortched earth policy.

If you suppose that the only reason for opposing gay marriage or for the actions of Catholic abortion agencies is "anti-gay bigotry," you are either drowning in propaganda or are one of the propagandists.

Either way, you don't know what you are talking about.

Titus said...

Where do they get cocks to sew on for tranny surgeries?

Do they reconfigure their pussy and turn it into a hog or do they have a bunch of hogs hanging around somewhere?

I am a married in Massachusetts gay but I still don't approve of other gays getting married.

Titus said...

Could you imagine having a medical job where you turn a cooch into a cock?

I would love to see that job description.

hombre said...

Where do they get cocks to sew on for tranny surgeries?

That's a very interesting question. Where, indeed?

hombre said...

I would love to see that job description.

Cocktor?

Chuck66 said...

hombre, if we are to have gay marriage, then I think anyone and any private institution should have a consciences objection option. Your side doesn't want that.

AJ Lynch said...

Titus- it's the newest medical specialty..It's called and addadicktome.

Rube said...

Titus, Organ donors.

Freeman Hunt said...

This is good.

If a crummy lawyer defends it, supporters of the Defense of Marriage Act would always be able to say that it never got a fair hearing. And they would be right.

Pit the best against the best and let the merits of the case determine the outcome.

Titus said...

What do they do with the old discarded cooch?

A cooch is a horrible thing to waste.

Roger J. said...

Damn--drill beat me to it: More's comment to Richard Rich: for wales?

hombre said...

Chuck wrote: I think anyone and any private institution should have a consciences objection option. Your side doesn't want that.

"Consciences objection?"

I'm not even sure what this means so I don't know what "my side" thinks about it.

Are people who oppose gay marriage and "consciences objection" per se anti-gay bigots?

If I oppose same sex marriage and don't oppose civil unions, am I an anti-gay bigot?

Roger J. said...

Titus--it is really good to have you back posting--I have to give you a lot of credit for covering ground that no one else can--and you do it with elan and a wonderful sense of humor.

I do hope your Brit Indian husband appreciates you.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

King & Spalding is not making a principled stand here. The sanctity of the law is more important than expediency.

You don't change the law by abandoning it. We have processes in place to change laws. We also have the Supreme Court to rule on a law's constitutionality.

Imagine the terrible power you confer on the government if you allow it to abandon whatever law it pleases by neglect.

Christopher said...

It has basically become unacceptable not to support gay marriage among the legal profession, especially among the brilliant academic lawyers.

But I really love the stuff about "brilliant lawyers". Where did we get the idea that lawyers are even smart?

What does the average lawyer major in at college? Where are law students ranked in terms of standardized test scores against, say, mathematicians?

Somehow, both journalists and lawyers think they are entitled to run society while having no demonstrated superiority. That is, even if cognitive superiority somehow gave you the right to govern (which is doesn't), they STILL wouldn't be entitled to govern. Lawyers only look smart to journalists because compared to them, they are.

james conrad said...

First off, marriage is a religious pratice that the govt has piggy backed laws. Now the govt wants to in effect, tell religions that they are no longer in control of their beliefs, bad idea.

The issue here is not civil rights as the govt can and has in some states given gays the same "rights" as married folks. The real issue is, gays want to steal the term MARRIAGE so as to legitimize their particular beliefs, again, bad idea.

David said...

Can you make a martini with scotch and soda water? No. Most folks would call that a whiskey and soda. You can call it a 'martini', but you would be lying to yourself. How is that helpful? Lying, I mean.

A 'marriage' has as absolutely necessary ingredients a man and a woman who have a sexual relationship. There have been historical variations on the quantity of these ingredients, or the way they have been combined, but a 'marriage' has to include them. A sexual relationship between three men, a goat and a basketball isn't a marriage, even if someone calls it that. Now if they would include a woman, they would have a fingernails in the crevice level of claim that they had a 'marriage' relationship.

Necessary ingredients for marriage:
1) male 2) female 3) sexual union.
Relationships without these ingredients are like a martini with no Vermouth.

Real 'Alice in Wonderland' meme all you brilliant loons have going there.

Chip Ahoy said...

I do see a role for government in marriage, as defender of contract. That role is civil. So the marriage contract defended by government is civil marriage. It involves assets and property.

I do not see a role for religion in marriage. It should never have been one of the seven sacraments. It purports to unite by God a purely human endeavor, saying so in the vow, "...till death do you part" and "what God brought together let no man take apart." The presumptuousness is astounding. If God actually united something then that thing united would be impossible to disunite by humans. And yet marriage is disunited, and rather easily at that. So there goes dragging God into the earthly human arrangement.

Trooper York said...

The funny part about the Chaz reality show is that Cher can't get over it and keeps calling Chaz
"Her" and "She" as though the big Hollyweird Left can't understand that her daughter now is a man.

Meanwhile the conservative stepmom Mary Bono doesn't seem to have a problem with it and just accepts him as he now is.

Although she did buy Chaz some ski's in the first episode. Do you think that means something?

Trooper York said...

Everything you need to learn in life you can learn from reality shows.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

Looking Clement's background up, I have my doubts about him, just because his background is too elitist. Harvardians tend to be extremely idiotic when it comes to sodomy, because they tend to feel on some level that it's lack of elite education rather than sodomy that screws people up. The ideal lawyer to defend the DOMA would probably be a wise hick, someone like what Abe Lincoln was.

But if he's really willing to change law firms rather than to be bullied into quitting, I'd say that speaks well of him.

El Presidente said...

Two words: Coca Cola.

King and Spaulding is the firm that Coke built. I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that Coke weighed in on this and K&S folded like a $2,000 suit.

hombre said...

I do not see a role for religion in marriage....

A little brush up on Christian theology might be helpful.

hombre said...

So there goes dragging God into the earthly human arrangement.

God is separate from the earthly human arrangement?

Are you an Episcopalian? LOL

Fred4Pres said...

I am not a big fan of the Defense of Marriage Act, but Paul Clement is right that it deserves an argument.

Fred4Pres said...

The Drill Sgt, thanks for the Thomas More.

GulfofMexico said...

Chip Ahoy,
Agree on the defender of contract role but instead of the government blessing the marriage via licensure, they should stay out of it altogether. At divorce time, the courts can review the prenup. Maybe people would think a little more before tying the knot. Or not.

As far as marriage in religion goes, marry away. If you think there is a need, sign a contract with each other.

Thorley Winston said...

Not sure what’s supposed to be so “controversial” about the Defense of Marriage Act.
Basically it says that if a State decides to change its definition of “marriage” as being something other than being between a man and a woman, the other States aren’t obligate to consider that a “marriage” within their States. It doesn’t preclude any State from deciding that two men or two women or more than two adults constitutes a “marriage” – it just means that one State won’t be able to effectively force the others to redefine “marriage.” It seems to me that if one really does believe in federalism, then DOMA is entirely consistent with that belief. On the other hand if one believes that one State court should be able to effectively redefine “marriage” into whatever they want it to be for the entire country, not so much.

Almost Ali said...

Why should this law firm be embarrassed to defend an American law passed by Congress and signed by Bill Clinton?

It probably has more to do with their wives' hairdressers. And maintaining some semblance of domestic tranquility.

Milwaukee said...

Would "craven cowards" be a better description of this law firm than just "cowards"? Once they demonstrate that they can be bullied, they will be bullied again.

K said...

Defending Defense of Marriage Act would be like defending Jim Crow.

I'm looking forward to when science finds, as I expect it will, that there is a genetic basis for the behavior of working harder and being more productive. Then progressive income taxes will represent discrimination and be just like Jim Crow. :)

Ann Althouse said...

"It seems to me like you're saying that the executive branch officials, including the Attorney General and Solicitor General, can pretty much ignore their oaths whenever they feel like it. With due and genuine respect, it seems a shabby and incoherent position, on which you're doubling down by repeating it."

It makes perfect sense to me. The President takes an oath to execute all of the law, which of course, includes the Constitution. Having determined that the law is not constitutional, he's not bound by that oath to defend it. And in the case of a law deemed to seriously violate core rights, it is good to decline to defend it.

But it's not indefensible, and it should be defended. In fact, it's better for someone dedicated to preserving it to make the argument. Why should those who support DOMA want the Obama administration defending it?

Ann Althouse said...

An additional point here is that the President isn't the last word on the meaning of the Constitution. His view is worthy and he should act on it, but he shouldn't by that alone deprive us of the Supreme Court's answer to the question. We deserve to learn the Supreme Court's answer, and we deserve a fully briefed and well-argued case before that decision is made.

gutless said...

DOMA is totally defensible and worthy of defense. This whole inevitability thing and claims about being on the wrong side of history is propaganda and attempts to prepare the battle field. Bushwa on stilts.

The Crack Emcee said...

I would like to see the Defense of Marriage Act go,...

Spoken like someone with two under her belt. Why should anyone else respect it when you don't, right? You can have as many as you want, make your own vows, terminate it at your will, and the best part of all - force everyone else to go along by pretending to respect it!

Boomers, you gotta love the narcissistic bastards,..

The Crack Emcee said...

Pogo,

For the left, it's Never Enough.

Gay marriage won't be enough; one will have to 'celebrate it'. All businesses will be so required, else they be sued to nonexistence.

All show bow before the hegemony of the left, where only power matters, and the job is never done, not until Nature itself cries Uncle.


Yep. Remember when electing Obama was supposed to end racial issues in this country? But, within a week, it was "This is only the beginning!"

The part that gets me is how they keep thinking we'll forget what they've said. They just keep blurting shit out, depending on the circumstances, and when you stick 'em with "hypocrite" they stare at you like WTF?

It's simply bizarre.

Thorley Winston said...

But it's not indefensible, and it should be defended. In fact, it's better for someone dedicated to preserving it to make the argument. Why should those who support DOMA want the Obama administration defending it?

Why then have an Office of the Attorney General at all if they will now only defend those laws that the President personally agrees with? If it’s going to be little more than another product of the “spoils systems” and either (a) refuse to defend or (b) take a dive on cases that the President personally disagrees with, perhaps we should just abolish the AG office entirely and let those citizens who wish to take up the burden of defending the laws that they want to see defended.

The Crack Emcee said...

MayBee,

I love the idea of being on the wrong side of history. As if the future of history is a foregone conclusion.

"I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future."

--Barack Obama

The Crack Emcee said...

Titus,

Where do they get cocks to sew on for tranny surgeries?

Do they reconfigure their pussy and turn it into a hog or do they have a bunch of hogs hanging around somewhere?


I've got a link, but you really don't want to know. If you do, say so, and I'll hook you up. But you don't want to know:

It ain't exactly hog heaven.

peter hoh said...

Crack: Remember when electing Obama was supposed to end racial issues in this country?

No.

Rob said...

I have no brief for DOMA, and I happily support same-sex marriage, but this isn't about that. King and Spalding's knuckling under to pressure was pusillanimous and dishonorable, and Paul Clement is Atticus Finch.

Milwaukee said...

Ann: "It makes perfect sense to me. The President takes an oath to execute all of the law, which of course, includes the Constitution. Having determined that the law is not constitutional, he's not bound by that oath to defend it. And in the case of a law deemed to seriously violate core rights, it is good to decline to defend it."

Thank you, I didn't realize it worked that way. The President can just say, "I don't think so." and the rest of us are stuck. I didn't like signing orders when Bush did it, and I don't like this now. This is not a good way to do things. We have a branch of government to determine the constitutionality of laws, and it isn't the Executive branch.

So when a conservative ends up in the White House, is being contrary and oppositional Ann's thing? Is all this further proof that she isn't a "conservative blogger"? Man, that must have really stung.

Erik said...

"But look at what your side does."

This Manichean view of the argument is part of the problem. I've already admitted to agreeing with you about the hyper-aggressive nature of some advocacy groups, and stated that I'm bothered by the fact that the gay people I know only seem interested in marriage insofar as it is a social statement, and have little interest in participating in the institution once it is open to them.

On the other hand, their reasons do not matter to me. What matters is the Constitution and principles of limited government.

And yet somehow you refuse to find common ground with me on these areas and instead seek to lump me in with advocacy groups I disagree with. It would be an act of civility for you to recognize that not all people who support allowing gay people to marry have the same perspective on these things. Sure, it might *seem* rhetorically useful to you to lump all of your political opponents together, but I'd suggest to you that it's counterproductive. We do, after all, agree on quite a bit. Your seeming refusal to accept that not all your opponents on this issue fit into your convenient homogenous group makes working through the issue more difficult. It's unfortunate.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger AJ Lynch said...

Titus- it's the newest medical specialty..It's called and addadicktome.

au contaire

In the more learned medical circles it's known as a pinadictomy.

G said...

What ever happened to civil unions?

The Crack Emcee said...

David,

Can you make a martini with scotch and soda water? No. Most folks would call that a whiskey and soda. You can call it a 'martini', but you would be lying to yourself. How is that helpful? Lying, I mean.

I've made this exact point countless times, in countless ways, on countless topics here. Lying, and expecting people to go along with those lies, is just the NewAge in our culture. "You can believe what you want to believe" flies full in the face of anyone who acknowledges what actually is - who isn't willing to play like reality is malleable. "What the meaning of 'is' is"? Remember that? That was our NewAge POTUS attempting to fuck with our minds - lying to us - and he (and the rest of the NewAge world) still holds it against us he didn't get away with it.

Now it's what the meaning of "marriage" is, when we know what the meaning of marriage is, and have always known what the meaning of marriage is.

They're just continuing to try and fuck with our heads.

Crimso said...

"Imagine the terrible power you confer on the government if you allow it to abandon whatever law it pleases by neglect."

No imagination necessary. Illegal immigration.

"We have a branch of government to determine the constitutionality of laws, and it isn't the Executive branch."

While I generally agree with your comment, I'm going to go out on a limb here, as IANAL (easy, Titus). My understanding of at least part of Marbury vs. Madison was that it effectively was the Judicial branch conferring that power on themselves. That such power was not explicitly in the Constitution.

Crimso said...

"What ever happened to civil unions?"

Civility bullshit?

ken in sc said...

Who issued the marriage license for Sarah and Abraham? Who said he could loan her out in Egypt? Who gave permission for Abraham to have sex with Sarah's servant girl? All these things were private decisions. No governments were involved. There is no compelling reason for governments to be involved today.

G said...

Well, this did use to be about legal obstacles faced by same-sex couples. IMO, the civil union concept was a rather elegant solution to that when appropriately designed. I'm guessing they don't register high enough on the self-esteem-o-meter, however.

el polacko said...

i get why an individual american citizen accused of the most henious crimes..murder,torture, child molesting, and so on..are deserving of legal representation to defend them in court but, when it comes to a law on the books that an increasing number of people recognize as being odious, why is it 'deserving' of a defense? the courts have declared the law unconstitutional so the government doesn't want to defend it and, after consideration of the merits of the case, this particular law firm decided it doesn't want to defend it either. of course, if our government representatives had any integrity, they would repeal the law and be done with all of this but they are afraid to upset some potential voters, like some who comment here, who reduce the issue of equal treatment of all citizens to giggling about "cooches" and "hogs" and who think that services offered to the public should not be made available to THAT part of the public...and then who question how gay citizens dare to be angry about how they are being treated. sheesh.

G said...

Did Sarah and Abraham file a joint return?

Milwaukee said...

In France they have civil unions, and to be fair opposite sex couples get to be civil-unioned. They call each other 'boy friend' and 'girl friend'. (Those people who used to be 'boy friend' or 'girl friend', what are they called now?)

In Wisconsin, to be domestically registered for domestic partner benefits (how did that happen after the voters voted that marriage was between a man and a woman and same sex marriage, or facsimile was to be allowed?) one must register. To undo it, all that is required is one party send a certified letter to the other. (How does that compare to being dumped by text message, or email? Dumped by certified letter!)

What about division of property? Don't know, but do the marital property laws apply? More importantly, creditors can sue either partner of a divorce, unless debt is spelled out in the divorce decree. What about the creditors to domestically registered people? Or is it "this is mine, that's yours, suffer!"? Can formerly-domestically-registered-but-not-any-more ex-partners get maintenance? Sounds like this could be a better deal than being married and getting a divorce. Why do the same-sex partners get such sweet deals? I had to pay maintenance! At least, with divorce, one only need be divorced for 6 months before remarrying. Perish the thought! I think, but correct me if I am wrong, one must be unpartnered from a domestic relationship for a minimum of a year before being re-registered. Could some knowledgeable person let us know, can opposite sex couples in Dane and Milwaukee Counties register domestically? Does this change our perspective on "domestic help"?

Frequently in opposite sex marriages the mom gets custody (so her new boyfriend and diddle her daughters). Who gets custody of what in same-sex domestic relation agreements? Clearly we need more vocabulary to deal with this evolving situation.

peter hoh said...

It doesn't matter whether Olson or Clement make the most compelling argument. What matters is what Justice Kennedy thinks.

Which of these attorneys is best suited to the task of persuading Kennedy?

damikesc said...

I actually have no problem with Obama refusing to defend the law.

I just hope the Left has no problem with a conservative declining to defend Obamacare in court.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

If some think it's fine for the executive branch to decide not to defend laws it determines to be unconstitutional, I look forward to hearing the same people make that argument in defense of some future conservative hardcore textualist President.

There are all sorts of laws some enterprising executive could endeavor to ignore.

peter hoh said...

Freeman, it seems to me that your hypothetical goes from choosing not to defend certain laws when those laws are challenged in court to ignoring certain laws.

Ignoring certain laws is vague. If you think clarification is in order, then clear it up for me.

There's an important distinction between choosing not to enforce a law (or choosing not to comply with a law) and choosing not to defend a law when it is challenged in court.

The Obama administration is not setting a precedent with this decision, so I can't say that I would be okay with future presidents following this precedent. However, I am comfortable with the idea that a future president might choose not to defend a law I like, should that law be challenged in court.

Robin said...

Advocates of same sex marriage continue to believe that intimidation tactics are the way to prevail.

Just further evidence of the destruction of civil society by the Left.

Bob Ellison said...

I am not impressed by the lawyerly creed that says a good lawyer must defend every shitty position and every guilty defendant. No, these things deserve only whatever lawyers they can scrape up. Paul Clement may do a terrific job on this, and more power to him if so. If his partners don't want the job, they're right to drop it.

The legal profession pretends to abdicate personal conviction, and that's why people hate lawyers so much.

Freeman Hunt said...

There's an important distinction between choosing not to enforce a law (or choosing not to comply with a law) and choosing not to defend a law when it is challenged in court.

I see your point. I do think that's an awfully low bar though. People challenge laws all the time. An executive who didn't like a law could drum up a challenger to it among her own supporters and then choose not to defend it in court. You'd end up with the same result.

peter hoh said...

But at least the courts would have a say, and I think that's worth something.

Surely you wouldn't want the administration deciding what is constitutional and what isn't.

Robin, some same-sex marriage advocates are engaging in intimidation, but not all are.

Michael said...

It is also important to remember that DOMA is not just some anti-gay law passed for kicks.

It was passed by Bill Clinton, generally regarded as the most gay-friendly president, ever.

By passing it, it made states, and citizens, less reluctant to legalize gay marriage.

Now it's inconvenient to the gay agenda so they act like it's the most awful law ever.

Freeman Hunt said...

Surely you wouldn't want the administration deciding what is constitutional and what isn't.

No, I wouldn't. That it shouldn't is exactly what I've been arguing in this thread.

veni vidi vici said...

This pressuring -- and the firm's giving in to it -- are another demonstration of my belief that damned near nobody in this country's "establishment", left nor right, has any idea of a "long game" anymore.

These morons will be shitting ink by the barrel when the right pulls something like this in as high-profile and shibboleth-laden a case/issue, and they'll be crying about how "unprecedented" it is all the while.

Dummies.

damikesc said...

Given that big fees tend to originate from unsavory sources and the firm shows they do vet who they represent....they will probably really hate the criticism they get when they defend something deplorable.

Beldar said...

@Professor Althouse: Thanks for the response!

You asked at the end of it, "Why should those who support DOMA want the Obama administration defending it?"

I don't want the Obama administration in particular to defend it. I want anyone who is the current holder of the office of the POTUS to do his job, which includes speaking in the federal courts on behalf of the Executive Branch, and sometimes jointly on behalf of the Executive and Congressional Branches.

I don't read the Constitution as authorizing the POTUS to vote "present."

I think we agree that if this or any other administration believes in good faith that a statute is unconstitutional, the administration ought to say exactly that in court. On the record. Where voters can read about it.

David said...

Here we have an intelligent and reasoned discussion of a thing which does not even exist. There is no such thing as a 'marriage' which does not involve a sexual relationship between a man and a woman. Same sex 'marriage' does not exist. Why waste spit talking about it?

How is this different that the much mocked medieval discussions about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

peter hoh said...

Beldar, I'm not sure what more would be gained by the administration stating their position in court. It's not like the administration has been trying to hide their position on DOMA. While they may have been cagey prior to Holder's announcement, Holder's announcement was pretty clear and widely published.

Karga said...

Sorry Ann, I do not believe the President has the power to decide what is constitutional or not. He may have the power to veto a law presented to him for signature for whatever reason, by even declaring that the law was not written on a paper he likes, that's all. The power to decide if a law meets the Constitutional standards rests with the Scotus.

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