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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 6, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 18
Right wing hates King & Spalding law firm
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Right wing hates King & Spalding law firm

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

King & Spalding, the law firm that withdrew from its contract to defend DOMA in federal courts with the U.S. House of Representatives, is under fire from right-wing political operatives for its decision.

The firm - which has a good record of providing fair and equal treatment for its own LGBT employees - announced on April 25 that it would not defend DOMA in court.

House Speaker John Boehner decided to hire attorneys to defend DOMA in pending court cases after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder revealed that President Obama had instructed the Justice Department not to do so.

Immediately after King & Spalding's announcement, right-wingers began to terminate their business relationships with the firm.

The first one was Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who ended his office's relationship with King & Spalding on April 30.

'King & Spalding's willingness to drop a client, the U.S. House of Representatives, in connection with the lawsuit challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was such an obsequious act of weakness that I feel compelled to end your legal association with Virginia so that there is no chance that one of my legal clients will be put in the embarrassing and difficult situation like the client you walked away from, the House of Representatives,' Cuccinelli said in a letter to King & Spalding's D.C. office.

He added 'Virginia seeks firms of commitment, courage, strength, and toughness, and unfortunately, what the world has learned of King & Spalding is that your firm utterly lacks such qualities.'

Cuccinelli sent a copy of his letter to The Washington Examiner, a newspaper started by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz as a conservative competitor for the Washington Post.

On May 2, the National Rifle Association also fired King & Spalding as outside counsel for the organization.

In a letter to King & Spalding chairman Robert Hays, NRA general counsel David Lehman said the firm's decision not to defend DOMA was 'indefensible.'

'We are writing to notify you of our decision to terminate our legal services agreement with King & Spalding, effective immediately, due to the firm's decision to bow to political pressure and abandon a client in the midst of a legal representation. Specifically, our decision is motivated by your withdrawal as counsel for the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives in defense of Section III of the Defense of Marriage Act,' the NRA said.

Also on May 2, the anti-Gay Concerned Women for America announced that they were awarding King & Spalding an 'award' specially created for the occasion - the 'Cave'-man Award.'

Saying that King & Spalding 'crumbled under the pressure from homosexual activists' CWA called the firm decision not to defend DOMA 'an unprofessional act of cowardice.'

While the firm did not comment on these new developments, Hays, said previously that 'I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement [to defend DOMA] was inadequate.'

The law firm was reportedly pressured by LGBT activists and by some of its own clients - including Coca Cola - to drop the DOMA case.

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