"Today the firm filed a motion to withdraw from its engagement to represent the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives on the constitutional issues regarding Section III of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act," King & Spalding chairman Robert D. Hays, Jr. said in a statement. "Last week we worked diligently through the process required for withdrawal."It could be that the agreement that muzzled everyone else in the firm on the subject of DOMA was too much. Also, for a firm that clearly prided itself on diversity, it was pointed out that attacking a community they purport to support was not going to go down well in the future.
“In reviewing this assignment further, I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate," he continued. "Ultimately I am responsible for any mistakes that occurred and apologize for the challenges this may have created."
Shortly after the firm announced that it would no longer take the case Paul Clement, former solicitor general under President George W. Bush and the partner charged with leading the firm's defense, submitted his letter of resignation to Hays...
In any case, DOMA will still have its defense, from an ace attorney who apparently can't wait to attack the rights of his fellow citizens. On your dime.
Update: Metroweekly points out the facts.
Here, the facts remain that Clement signed the initial contract on behalf of King & Spalding, questions were raised about the content of that contract, the ethics committee chairman moved to withdraw the firm from representation and Clement left the firm.And over at the HuffPo, reports of conflict within the firm itself over its contract. Remember, this is a gay-friendly company with lots of gay employees.
A source at the firm described the “mayhem” that ensued after employees learned King & Spalding agreed to defend DOMA.While it's a convenient political cover to claim the big mean gays threatened the firm, waving their feather boas, there are reasonable interpretations that they didn't like the ethics of the muzzle clause,that their employees weren't happy with a firm that was advocating to make them 2nd class, and that the potential loss of business from the LGBT community and friends wasn't worth it.
“Management was divided, people were threatening to quit,” the source said. In addition, it was unclear if members of the firm’s Diversity Committee had been consulted ahead of time about taking on the case.....
Particularly troublesome for companies, according to the source, was that many of them have contracts with King & Spalding that provide protections against non-discrimination for sexual orientation. The contract with the House General Counsel, however, did not include sexual orientation or gender identity protections.