King & Spalding’s decision to drop its defense of DOMA continues to make news; in the parlance of journalists, this story has legs.
To recap, the firm and its former star partner Paul Clement (pictured) were hired by certain House members to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies certain benefits to same-sex couples, after the Obama administration said it would no longer defend the federal law.
The firm has yet to explain precisely why it decided to stop defending DOMA, prompting speculation that the firm acted out of fear that it would possibly alienate recruits and firm clients who support same-sex marriage.
Clement fled the firm in protest. And last week Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced he would no longer send business to King & Spalding, stating that the firm had engaged in “an obsequious act of weakness,” the Washington Examiner reported.
Now, the NRA is parting company with the firm, the BLT Blog reports.
In a letter today to King & Spalding chairman Robert Hays, the BLT reports, NRA general counsel David Lehman said that in hiring firms, “we expect them to zealously advocate for our interests and not abandon the representation due to pressure from those who may disagree with us.”
King & Spalding spokesman Les Zuke declined to comment to the Law Blog about client defections over the DOMA matter.
Hays earlier said that in reviewing the DOMA assignment, “I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate.”