Alex Blaze

The House Republican Contract with King & Spalding Really is Republican

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 21, 2011 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Congress, DOMA, gay marriage, King & Spalding, LGBT, marriage, representatives

The LA Times, which puts out "We agree with the gays but their tactics are just so uncivil!" editorials every few months just to dump-doma.jpgremind everyone how centrist they are, has an editorial out saying that HRC (you know, the radical, far-left queers' organization) just doesn't get how the legal system works and shouldn't be saying anything against King & Spalding for taking on the defense of DOMA. Every law needs to be defended, and while this one could have been defended by House lawyers, it also needs a $900/hr private lawyer because if a lawyer doesn't bill nine months worth of food stamps per hour then she can't possibly be competent.

Back in the adult conversation about this move, Metro Weekly says that part of the contract K&S signed with the House says that none of their employees can advocate against DOMA, even employees who aren't working on the litigation. This means that lawyers at any of the firm's offices could be prohibited from speaking in favor of DOMA repeal or volunteering with an organization like Lambda Legal that opposes DOMA.

It's also explicitly illegal in several states where K&S has offices, since apparently some people still consider it a bad idea to allow employers to use their power, in providing food and shelter and health care to employees, to keep their employees out of the political process.

It's a perfectly Republican contract. Not only is it for the defense of discrimination, it's was apparently a no-bid contract for political cronies, taking work government workers would competently be doing and giving it to a more-expensive private entity that also wants the right to control its employees' outside of work political speech. Add in a tax break for the firms' partners and a set of guns for the associates' and it might just be the Platonic ideal of conservatives' values.

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Thanks for staying on top of this, Alex. I'm not reading nearly the coverage this story should be getting from the GLBTQ perspective anywhere else.

At least not yet.

Alex, it's not just other attorneys in K&S's offices but ALL EMPLOYEES, whether attorney or non-attorney employees. This means the mail room employees, receptionists, etc. NO ONE in their offices is permitted ...

Obviously, such a clause prohibiting the attorneys directly involved with the case from otherwise advocating against DOMA on their own time is understandable (it would pose an ethical dilemma for such attorneys and raise questions of breach of attorney-client privilege). But the scope of the non-compete clause goes way beyond those directly involved in working for the client, and that's a shame and something that should be looked at with an electron microscope.

The president of the Atlanta gay lawyer group works for the firm & will likely have to leave his position - even tho it's on his own time.