Chairman Lungren on King & Spalding’s "Insult to the Legal Profession"


Today, Chairman Dan Lungren (R-CA) issued the following statement after former Solicitor General Paul Clement resigned from King & Spalding and announced that he will continue to represent the House defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):

“I want to express my gratitude to former Solicitor General Clement.  I admire his unwavering commitment to his clients and his dedication to uphold the law – qualities that appear to be inconsequential at King and Spalding where politics and profit now appear to come first.

“King and Spalding’s cut and run approach is inexcusable and an insult to the legal profession.  Less than one week after the contract was approved engaging the firm, they buckled under political pressure and bailed with little regard for their ethical and legal obligations. Fortunately, Clement does not share the same principles. I’m confident that with him at the helm, we will fight to ensure the courts – not the President – determine DOMA’s constitutionality.”


  1. SC Guy
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    This will likely mean that there will be a solid representation for DOMA as Paul Clement is showing that he's not a lame-oid. This could be a positive turn of events actually.

  2. Posted April 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I disagree with this whole course of action, getting a law firm to drop the case simply because it took a legal position unpopular in some quarters, even though that position is backed up by over a century of court precedent.

    For another example, Holloday and Chilton, an Oklahoma City law firm, is representing two couples in a lawsuit against Oklahoma’s Question 711 and the federal DOMA. Their legal position is certainly unpopular in Oklahoma, and, unlike the legal position Paul Clement is taking, their legal position requires them to ask courts to defy Supreme Court precedent in order to win their case. But, as much as I disagree with them on the law, I do not begrudge them that assignment.

    It is a shame that the HRC could not show that same deference to King and Spaulding.

  3. Mike Brooks
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like there is a conflict of interest between the firm and the subject matter of the case.

    Good, find a firm that can aggressively defend the statute without fear of retribution by its employees, prospective clients, and other interests. A weak defense is no defense at all.

    There are thousands of firms that would love to defend a Congressional Act in the media spotlight.

  4. Don
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Let us also not forget that we have elections coming and a presidential election in 2012. There will be serious fallout from this as congressional Democrats staunchly support homosexual "marriage" and it was the unusual, unitlateral action by Obama which precipitated the entire issue.

  5. John Noe
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    In a serious rebuke to this firms actions Congress should never again let this law firm represent them. It is an honor as a law firm to be chosen to represent the we the people and our elected Congress.
    If a law firm feels that the feelings of a vocal minority are more important than the feelings of we the people then they are unworthy of any future legal dealings with Congress.

  6. Ken
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    To Don and John - Your comments about elections and the feelings of "we the people" indicate that you're forgetting that the majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage.

    And John, I think the firm will be fine without Congress' business. You understand that Congress is normally represented by the DOJ don't you?

  7. Don
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 2:06 am | Permalink


    ROFL! I suppose the evidence for your propaganda that the majority of Americans now support SSM is the victory of Prop 8 in California and the victory of traditional marriage when put on the ballot in Maine.

    Yet once again, if what you claim is true then how is it that you avoid a vote on SSM like the plague? If you have so much support, then why not put it to a vote so that you can have what you want immediately?

  8. John Noe
    Posted April 27, 2011 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    Ken: Yes I understand but since the DOJ is not doing its job, Congress has to look elsewhere. This would be like you working for me and I understood that, but you were not doing your job. So I had to fire you and looked elsewhrer.

    To Don: Great point as Ken while claiming this great American support for SSM ignores the election losses.
    Did he not see the last election in 2010. The one where the pro SSM candidates lost their election. It was so bad that even in Massachusetts a pro SSM advocate managed to lose Ted Kennedy's seat to an advocate of traditional marriage.