Earlier this week, we learned that the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) put pressure on clients of the law firm King & Spalding to get it “to end its representation of the “Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives on the constitutional issues regarding Section III of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.” After the law firm caved to pressure from this left-wing outfit, it has earned the opprobrium not just of conservative pundits and jurists, but also from left-of-center commentators, even from the editorial board of the New York Times!
Calling “the pummeling” that the law firm has experienced “entirely deserved”, Ruth Marcus dubs HRC, “the bigger culprit” as it “orchestrated the ugly pressure tactics against King & Spalding“:
But strong-arming the lawyer to drop or avoid the unpopular client is not an acceptable tactic. This is not, or shouldn’t be, a left-right debate. It is true whether the lawyer is defending murderers on death row, Guantanamo detainees or a federal law — a law, it must be pointed out, that was passed by overwhelming congressional majorities and signed by a Democratic president. The Human Rights Campaign and its allies ought to remember: Not so long ago, firms were squeamish about taking on gay clients or causes.
Exactly. Read the whole thing. “King & Spalding had no ethical or moral obligation to take the case,” the editors of the New York Times write, “but in having done so, it was obliged to stay with its clients, to resist political pressure from the left that it feared would hurt its business.” (Via Jennifer Rubin.)
John Hinderaker reports that “King & Spalding is starting to experience blowback: the Attorney General of Virginia has fired the firm from work it has been doing for the state since 2009. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli sent King & Spalding a blistering letter which apparently was copied to the Washington Examiner:” (more…)