WSJ: Lawyer agreed to defend DOMA before firm vetted the case
One thing I despise about the religious right is how they swoop down on an issue in order to exploit it before all of the facts come in.
They act like a bunch of vultures with crosses stitched in their wings.
A perfect example of this is the recent controversy involving King & Spalding, the law firm which decided not to defend DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) in the courts.
We have heard the constant whining from the religious right about how King & Spalding are cowards for refusing to take the case. We have heard junk from the religious right regarding the supposedly bullying tactics of the Human Rights Campaign in this controversy. However, the following is something we won't hear from the religious right.
According to The Wall Street Journal and The Fulton County Daily Reporter, the lawyer in the center of the controversy, Paul Clement, may have overstepped his bounds in taking the case. He allegedly signed the contract to defend the case before going through proper channels:
Clement has stated that he felt that he had the backing of the firm before he took on the DOMA case. But the Daily Report spoke to two firm lawyers and a third source anonymously who said that the DOMA matter was not fully submitted to King & Spalding's business review committee, a firm requirement, before Clement signed a contract obligating the firm. They said the committee immediately began reviewing the case the day after the firm learned of the contract—and rejected it the next day, according to the Daily Report.
The sources said the firm’s partners were taken by surprise when news broke that Clement had taken the case. “Any matter that is controversial in any way or where there is a discounted rate goes through the business review committee,” one of the sources told the Daily Report, noting that the DOMA engagement was both controversial and had a discounted rate.
The article also said that there was widespread opposition to the case from inside the law firm and that the case didn't fit the law firm's mission.
These facts something to keep in mind as the folks at the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, etc. will continue to put their own spin on this controversy.
My guess is that the organizations will conveniently ignore these new revelations.