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Firestorm after a top flight law firm drops its congressional clients.
House Republicans -- hired legal -- -- king and Spalding defend the federal law banning gay marriage.
But -- that was before the law firm ran into a buzz saw of criticism from gay rights groups.
For parent -- debate about this attorney Keith Sullivan he thinks the law firm's decision is a bad idea and Marge baker executive vice president for People for the American Way.
Welcome T about.
I think you're having -- right margin why do you think or do you think that the law firm was right.
It's in making this decision to drop this very controversial case.
Well first of all I think it's really important to get back to some basics here the real issue before us is the flawed decision -- House of Representatives -- in the first place.
To spend millions of dollars of taxpayer money.
In defending discrimination.
With millions of people out of work with programs being cut -- to balance our budget.
This is a bad decision was a wrong decision to defend a law that's unconstitutional.
And that the -- Americans don't even support.
We'll keep the truth is though that this is a law on the books that congress got passed until it struck down.
These Republicans and it is primarily being led by Republicans in the house that's for sure they felt like it was worth the time and money to defend a law that is still legally on the bucks.
Absolutely was passed overwhelmingly when it came through the house and -- king and Spalding if in fact they withdrew because this became an unpopular position to take.
Deserves the harshest criticism.
But who was not without fault here is the Human Rights Campaign.
Proudly stated that they contacted -- all these other clients and advocated that they put pressure on king and Spalding to withdraw from this case.
As an attorney the American legal system.
Demands if you are you going to represent unpopular people an unpopular positions.
My office has done it many times we've been involved in 9/11 litigation.
We represent Merritt -- is opposing FDNY race based quota hiring here in New York when you take on these controversial positions.
You -- going to be subject to criticism and I would have hoped that king and Spalding from that's been around for very long time would have had the fortitude.
To withstand that criticism and stay on the case.
And to get a little bit more context on this case the attorney who was going to be handling this forking it's falling Paul Clement a former US solicitor general.
He had this to say and part of his resignation letter reportedly said.
I resign out of firmly held -- the representation should not be abandoned because the client's legal position is extremely unpopular in certain quarters.
Defending unpopular clients is what lawyers do and he said his personal feelings about.
The defense of marriage act about gay marriage didn't enter into this but he felt an obligation to move forward.
A march should we respect that -- I think this is this is case of the First Amendment -- work.
This is not a case of an -- indigent criminal defendant -- the defense being entitled to a defense.
This is -- case of their house represented -- going to spend millions of dollars of taxpayer money.
On defending him and on a lot that we believe is unconstitutional.
-- that a majority of Americans don't support.
-- and and I think things filed and made it made it made an important decision decision they're actually entitled to make.
Based on any number of factors principal economic interest I think it was a principal decision to make in their title to make it it's not as though.
The house representatives is wanting in terms of finding a firm that we'll take 500 dollars an hour up to millions of dollars in order to defend this statute.
But -- -- it's a position that they took because they came under fierce pressure from corporate America that was put on them by the Human Rights Campaign.
It is absolutely disgraceful that and our American legal system.
This happens -- attorneys who withdrawal and cave under this pressure and that there are organizations out there that would put on this pressure on these attorneys it is unacceptable.
-- and this is no different this is the First Amendment you work this is no different than the FRC the family research council.
Boycotting McDonald's because McDonald's decided to become part of the gay lesbian chamber of congress.
This is this is this is American's right to protest the First Amendment right taking into -- made a choice.
Based on that public conversation based on that public discourse not to not to take this case I think it was the right to say all right we definitely -- share opinions.
Thank you -- we'll be right back.
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