"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.