(written in response to the major DC law firm King & Spalding dropping its representation defending the Defense of Marriage Act due to pressure from homosexual groups. From FRC’s Daily Briefing 4-26-11)
Attorneys at King & Spalding probably thought that ditching the federal marriage case would save the firm a lot of trouble. Boy, did that strategy backfire! In the end, its decision to bail on a client is causing much more controversy than it ended. Less than a week into its contract with the U.S. House, King & Spalding decided that they didn’t have the stomach to tangle with the homosexual community. In the face of a little pressure, attorneys dropped the suit faster than you can say “political correctness.”
Instead of sparing King from criticism, the choice heaped on more. People on both sides of the marriage debate have spent the last 24 hours blasting the firm for running scared. As the case’s lead attorney, former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, said in his resignation letter, denying representation to one side of a legal challenge “is a profound threat to the rule of law… When it comes to the lawyers, the surest way to be on the wrong side of history is to abandon a client in the face of hostile criticism.” The Wall Street Journal was less gentle in its assessment, slamming King & Spalding for “invertebrate representation.” “To drop a case under political pressure is especially unethical,” editors wrote. “The Human Rights Campaign has every right to challenge DOMA in court, but it does itself no honor by trying to deny that same right to DOMA supporters…”
For the last several years, groups like HRC have managed to frighten most of Corporate America into tiptoeing around the gay community. And for much of the decade, they’ve succeeded. Case in point: King & Spalding would rather lose the country’s greatest Supreme Court lawyer than confront an HRC smear campaign! But it looks like the Left may have finally overreached. This firestorm is exposing homosexual activists for what they are–spineless bullies. FRC’s Ken Klukowski talked about their strategy of oppression in a column for Townhall. “They scream about freedom when it suits their purpose, only to deny others freedom to even be heard… The truth is never afraid of a good [fight]. At the core of the First Amendment is the idea that people must be free to speak because the best ideas should win in the end…”
The people who avoid a debate are the ones afraid of losing. That’s why the groups like GetEQUAL and others are forming what is basically a mobile protest unit. Yesterday, its activists rallied outside the offices of King & Spalding–only to learn that its attorneys had bailed on the case. So what did they do? Hopped in the car, drove across town to Paul Clement’s new firm, and started demonstrating there. “I think Bancroft PPLC just bought itself a world of pain,” wrote one blogger. “Go get them!!!” As far as they’re concerned, the Constitution doesn’t decide who gets lawyers–homosexuals do. Those intimidation games may have worked before, but don’t count on it now, says the Washington Post. “It may just be that dumping the House of Representatives as its client is proving to be potentially more… damaging to the firm than sticking by a client.” FRC’s Peter Sprigg was on target in a message he tweeted earlier today: Being falsely accused of bigotry may not be as bad as proving beyond all doubt that you’re a coward!