Daylife/Getty Images used by permission
The latest photo of corporate meat puppets
House Republicans have hired a prominent conservative attorney to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act in a pending lawsuit, legal sources say, and will make an effort to divert money from the Justice Department to fund its high-profile fight. House Speaker John Boehner disclosed the legal and political strategy in a letter Monday to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi…
“The burden of defending DOMA, and the resulting costs associated with any litigation that would have otherwise been born (sic) by DOJ (The Department of Justice), has fallen to the House,” Boehner said. “Obviously, DOJ’s decision results in DOJ no longer needing the funds it would have otherwise expended defending the constitutionality of DOMA. It is my intent that those funds be diverted to the House for reimbursement of any costs incurred by and associated with the House, and not DOJ, defending DOMA…”
Paul Clement is a former solicitor general under President George W. Bush, serving from 2005 to 2008. It was his job to defend federal laws and executive actions in court, similar to what he will be doing now as a private lawyer on retainer. He was mentioned at one time as a possible Supreme Court nominee. He would have fit in perfectly with the other reactionary liars appointed by Bush.
Separately, he also is representing more than two dozens states in their lawsuit against the administration over the sweeping health care reform law passed by Congress last year. That case is pending in a federal appeals court in Atlanta.
In the Defense of Marriage Act dispute, groups on both sides of the issue noted the highly charged political aspects.
“Not only are House Republican leaders defending the indefensible, they’ve brought in a high-priced attorney to deny federal recognition to loving, married couples,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “Speaker Boehner appears ready to go to great lengths, and the great expense of a high-power law firm, to try to score some cheap political points on the backs of same-sex couples…”
President Barack Obama on February 23 ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of the law. “The president has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. The key provision in the law “fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional…”
These bigots have a perfect right to maintain their fight against the tide of progress and civil rights. Hate-mongers are a protected species under our Constitution.
There’s no good reason why American taxpayers should pick up the tab for their revanchist politics. There’s no shortage of wealthy thugs like the Koch Bros around to pay the bill for rightwing politicians running for office. Let ‘em pay for the fightback against the 21st Century.