Before blogging further (save to address Joe Solmonese’s comment below) about HRC’s bullying of King & Spalding because the law firm dared engage the United States House of Representatives as a client in order to defense a provision of a statute enacted in accordance with the provisions of the United States constitution, I will be contacting HRC’s press office with a series of questions. (I may also inquire why they criticized Sarah Palin for her silence when her daughter used the term “faggot” while remaining silent when a union protestor used the same term in order to insult a political adversary.)
In his statement on King & Spalding’s decision, Solmonese, president of the HRC, got it exactly backwards. “King & Spalding,” he held, “has rightly chosen to put principle above politics in dropping its involvement in the defense of this discriminatory and patently unconstitutional law.” Actually, the law firm, as HRC, put politics ahead of principle on this one. And to call an issue that the Supreme Court has not yet adjudicated — and about which solid arguments can be raised on both sides of the issue — is to elevate his view of the case to that of settled law.
While I am busy crafting my questions, Jennifer Rubin has stayed on top of this issue, reporting that if the Coca-Cola Company, at the behest of HRC, “had pressured King & Spalding to dump another client, the House of Representatives“, it would be “a clean-cut violation of professional ethics”. It’s Rubin, read the whole thing.
And in the meanwhile, please let me know if you have any questions for HRC that I should include in my e-mail inquiry.
UPDATE: The indispensable Mrs. Rubin has more on the ethics of the matter, summarizing her conversation with law professor Ron Rotunda who points out . . .
. . . that the purpose of the gay rights campaign was to damage the House of Representatives’s legal defense. He explained to me this afternoon, “Gay rights groups are taking credit for pressuring King & Spalding, and are pleased that Paul Clement is moving to a small firm without the deep back bench of K & S. That fact, says Jon Davidson, legal director for the gay rights group Lambda Legal, will hurt the House of Representatives.” Certainly, even non-lawyers/bloggers can appreciate that this is not in keeping with our legal tradition and the adversary system of justice. The gay rights group is entitled to the best possible representation of its choice, and so are its opponents.
Exactly. Read the whole thing.