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DOMA’s Erstwhile Defenders



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News reports this morning indicate that King & Spalding — the law firm whose partner, former solicitor general Paul Clement, was slated to defend the Defense of Marriage Act — has decided to withdraw. This follows a campaign of intimidation with threats from law schools and activist groups that retribution would follow if the firm continued to defend the law. This tantrum and its seeming success tell us that many on the left believe they have a veto on the principle that everybody deserves to be represented in court. It also suggests that there are few limits on what gay marriage supporters will do to marginalize those with whom they disagree. It’s worth remembering, as Maggie Gallagher says, that this is what “marriage equality” means. Paul Clement’s principled stand, which Kathryn has noted, is a much-needed grown-up decision and a very powerful rebuke to the intimidators.



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