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Paul Clement is not a public defender and DOMA is not entitled to a defense

DOMA trials

By Adam Bink

Stunningly wrong-headed Los Angeles Times editorial this morning, in which the Times ed board attacks the Human Rights Campaign and the rest of us out here for saying Paul Clement and his firm should be ashamed for agreeing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. Where to start? Let’s start here:

The tradition of lawyers defending unpopular or controversial clients is an honorable one.

DOMA, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman and permits states to refuse to honor same-sex marriages performed in other states, is wrongheaded, and we welcomed President Obama’s decision not to defend it. But that doesn’t mean the House of Representatives, which took over defense of the law from the administration, shouldn’t retain the ablest counsel available. Former Solicitor Gen. Paul D. Clement, a renowned Supreme Court litigator, qualifies.

Uh, no. Paul Clement is not a public defender and DOMA is not some kind of defendant who can’t afford an attorney and is entitled to public defense under the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution. Paul Clement’s job is not to defend whoever comes before him. Attorneys in private practice are responsible for the cases they choose and can make their own decisions. Clement chose to side with discrimination. That’s why he deserves the public condemnation HRC and the rest of us are giving him.

Next:

It’s perhaps understandable that leaders of an advocacy group like the Human Rights Campaign would be outraged at the idea of anyone defending a law that they so strongly believe is discriminatory. But the suggestion that it’s shameful for Clement or his firm to do so misunderstands the adversarial process. For one thing, with sharp-witted counsel on both sides making the strongest possible arguments, it is more likely that justice will be done.

Well, no, actually, justice will be done when the law is dead and gone. The quickest way to get to that point is to not defend the law. What’s next, the LA Times ed board arguing that proponents of Prop 8 should be granted standing to ensure “fair and reasonable” representation and that justice will be done so we can all have a nice and orderly debate? This isn’t the Stanford Debate Society, these are people’s lives.

Next:

For another, a lawyer who defends an individual or a law, no matter how unpopular or distasteful, helps ensure that the outcome is viewed as fair. If DOMA is struck down, the fact that it was defended effectively will make the victory for its opponents more credible.

I’ll tell you what would ensure public consensus that this law is unconstitutional: when Boehner and Co. can’t find anyone credible to defend the law. That in and of itself would have said something. Instead, Paul Clement stepped up to give the credibility of the law a big boost.

But my real favorite part:

In criticizing Clement’s law firm for agreeing to defend DOMA, the Human Rights Campaign contrasted that decision with the firm’s admirable record in promoting equality for gay and lesbian employees. But there is no contradiction — unless one believes that DOMA doesn’t deserve a defense. We hope Clement loses, but we don’t begrudge him the assignment.

Well, yes, DOMA doesn’t deserve a defense, but more to the point, assignment? What assignment?! Again, the man chose to take this case and then send taxpayers the $500,000 (probably more) bill.

Particularly for those of you who are attorneys, the LA Times accepts op-eds shorter than 750 words, sent to [email protected] I just sent in a version of this blog post. All details can be found here. I encourage you to tell the LA Times ed board — and its readers — why this is wrong.

85 Comments

  • 1. Ronnie  |  April 21, 2011 at 4:14 am

    "the man chose to take this case and then send taxpayers the $500,000 (probably more) bill."

    I want a refund….

    Well said break down of the editorial Adam ……<3…Ronnie

  • 2. LCH  |  April 21, 2011 at 4:20 am

    ♀♀=♂♂=♀♂=∑♡

  • 3. atty79  |  April 21, 2011 at 4:52 am

    You are absolutely correct Adam. Clement chose to represent his client. I suspect greed though is at play more than a personal need to discriminate. Greed is a powerful motivator in our society. Capitalism depends on it.

    Greed doesn't discriminate against a cause unless that cause is against itself. It doesn't care whether you're gay, straight, rich, poor, healthy, unhealthy, what skin tone you have, or accent. It just cares whether you're going to pay and whether you're going to let it continue to feed. If you're not, then watch out. It won't stop until you do.

    I blame greed more than I blame Clement for taking this case–especially since it seems his firm was supportive against discrimination.

    In fact I blame greed for the continued fight against marriage equality. Hell, look at the sad team Braggie Brallager. I firmly believe they would be nobody if it weren't for greed. The church–greed for their own salvation and coffers. Politicians–greed for contributions to win elections. Even newspapers–greed for ratings at the expense of reason.

  • 4. Bob  |  April 21, 2011 at 6:44 am

    definetly greed,,,, GREED controls everything in the U.S.

    I was recently reading (Aids articles), and was facinated by a professor in Italy,,, who continues teaching his theory that HIV does not cause AIDS..

    He said, Americans are amused by this, because over here Big Pharma controls what is taught and why,,, it's to there benefit to have people taking meds,

    In Italy he said after their experience with fascism,, the first improvement they made to freedom of speach, was the freedom to teach,,, and it is written in their constituion that if a professor has a phd in his area of expertise, no one can silence his teaching ,,,, and that is why he is allowed to teach what most westerners refer to as denialist theory,,,

    The actual teaching of a different view or approach is highly protected and valued,,,

    Now of course this whole theory and consequences are highly controversial, that wasn't the reason for my post,, but what I found interesting was the notion that reason or sound sience could trump the greed of money making corporations,,,

    Freedom to teach, wow

  • 5. Kate  |  April 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Braggie Brallager. Too funny! Is Hollywood next for them?

  • 6. Michelle Evans  |  April 21, 2011 at 6:06 am

    No, Bollywood!

  • 7. Kate  |  April 21, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Oh, of COURSE!!!!!

  • 8. Sagesse  |  April 21, 2011 at 5:05 am

    Scribin' to read later.

  • 9. Cat  |  April 21, 2011 at 5:06 am

    Hmm. I'm not so sure I agree with criticizing a lawyer for taking on a case. Even the worst person deserves a fair trial, and I feel that should be extended to: even the worst laws deserve a fair trial. If lawyers cheat and lie to make their case, that's a different matter, but doing your best to defend your client's interests is what the job requires. If the client is wrong, then that should be the outcome of the legal case.

    Boehner on the other hand is the client, and can and should conclude, just like Obama and Holder did, that DOMA is unconstitutional and on top of that not what the people want, so no money should be spent defending it. The whole notion of "the DOJ isn't doing what it should do, so we have to do it" is false, and a politically stained argument.

  • 10. nightshayde  |  April 21, 2011 at 7:45 am

    I don't agree that the worst laws deserve a fair trial. The worst laws should be repealed without having to go through the whole courtroom theatrical process.

  • 11. Cat  |  April 21, 2011 at 8:08 am

    I agree that bad laws should be repealed and not defended, but I feel the people to rail against are the politicians who mount a defense rather than backing a repeal. But in case one wants to mount a legal defense, I don't think lawyers should be the ones preventing that. The judge should be the judge of that…

    Perhaps the lawyers are supplying the weapon, but Boehner et al are pulling the trigger.

  • 12. Chris in Lathrop  |  April 21, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Perhaps the lawyers are supplying the weapon…

    It seems to me like they're supplying weapons to people who clearly would fail a background check, to extend the metaphor. It's hard to see where a law firm or an individual attorney in that firm would accept such a case, when they don't have to, except for either agreeing with the law, greed, or some combination thereof.

  • 13. Jon  |  April 21, 2011 at 5:26 am

    Spot on.

    When Kirsten Gillibrand was making big bucks helping tobacco giant Philip Morris, she could have said no. She chose to take the money. Later when she was running for office, she used the same excuse of "all clients are entitled to legal defense" — oh PLEASE! Philip Morris would have been denied a top-quality defense under any circumstances? Of course not! You could have referred them to some other attorney, one who lacked any scruples whatsoever. You did not. You took the cases, you took the money, you had no problem with the client.

    Of course we can judge a lawyer by his clients.

  • 14. Trish  |  April 21, 2011 at 5:26 am

    I agree with the substance of the editorial but not its tone.

    Just my two pennies.

  • 15. Kathleen  |  April 21, 2011 at 5:29 am

    UPDATE: Perry

    Proponents' Reply – order to compel return of trial brief – and Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion to Unseal Recordings. http://www.scribd.com/doc/53564220

  • 16. Nyx  |  April 21, 2011 at 5:32 am

    I agree with the LA Times. I believe what HRC is doing is an attack on the American legal system by trying to shame lawyers to not take an unpopular case. If HRC is successful, it is no better than what the right-wing did in the last election by the ousting of three Iowa Supreme Court Justices which was an attack on the judicial system in general.

  • 17. Jon  |  April 21, 2011 at 5:49 am

    A private law firm is not the judiciary. In this context, indeed there's no comparison. You're welcome to believe there is, but there isn't, and you are mistaken, and the rest of your argument falls from there.

    Other than that I think we can all agree your comment is insightful and well founded.

  • 18. Michelle Evans  |  April 21, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Something that has not been pointed out in this discussion of King and Spalding, is that when they took this case with their firm, they also went so far as to stifle the rights of their own LGBT employees. That's something that needs to be aired in public, and what the LA Times could have discussed.

    As pointed out here, the firm has a page on their site talking about how wonderful they are to LGBT clients and employees. Now, however, there is a contract which states that anyone working for this company can no longer express ANY opinions in public or in private that would be construed as being negative toward DOMA!

    So, this firm has gone, with the stroke of pen–and money from the Rebubs–from an open and affirming company, to one which now openly discriminates against its own employees and the LGBT community.

    The actions of the law firm have already been called into question in that what they are doing is absolutely illegal in many states where they have offices. Does this tactic sound familiar of flaunting the law in order to attack LGBT people? So, yes, this firm should be under scrutiny for what they are doing, because as of now they have gone over completely to the dark side for a wad of American taxpayer cash.

  • 19. Kathleen  |  April 21, 2011 at 6:28 am

    FWIW, here are my thoughts on this.

    Everyone has a right to be legal representation in court when facing criminal charges. For that reason I would never criticize a lawyer for representing a client in a criminal trial, no matter how heinous the alleged crime or what I think of the defendant.

    However, civil cases are an entirely different matter. Whether or not a lawyer decides to take on a client becomes essentially a business decision, IMO. What reason a lawyer has for taking on a client in a case like this – whether it's the money or a belief in the cause — representing the client will have consequences on the business that is the lawyer's firm. I think we have just as much right to criticize the lawyer for making this decision for his business as we have to criticize Target for the business decisions it makes. And, no, I don't think this is the same as criticizing the judiciary for doing their job.

    But I realize not everyone holds this view.

  • 20. Maggie4NoH8  |  April 21, 2011 at 6:47 am

    What gets me is:

    1) The law really is unconstitutional
    2) King & Spalding want to have their cake and eat it too (look at us, see how LGBT friendly we are and a half a million dollars in revenue)
    3) The hypocrisy of the republicans (advocation for smaller, less-intrusive government and fiscal conservatism while pursuing this case – definitely intrusive, definitely costly)
    4) The ignorance of the masses for buying the republican load of crap

    And yes, I ranked those in a particular order!

  • 21. Eric  |  April 21, 2011 at 7:15 am

    We had to pay an extra $9K in Federal taxes this year because of DOMA and California community-property laws that opposite sex couples didn't have to pay. Is $500K going to cover the new Federal claims against DOMA when the IRS rejects our MFJ amended return?

  • 22. Trish  |  April 21, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Eric, I'm curious how you had to pay a greater amount. A majority of same-sex married/registered domestic partners obtained a financial benefit, and an even greater benefit than they would have received had they been required to file their federal tax returns as married.

    Of course, I still haven't gotten my refunds because the IRS keeps sending me letters because they're so confused about their own rules…

  • 23. nightshayde  |  April 21, 2011 at 9:10 am

    IANAL, nor am I in a same-sex relationship… but I think part of it has to do with how health benefits for domestic partners (civil union partners, spouses, whatever the legally-recognized term for same-sex partnerships is in the jurisdiction) are treated under federal law. Something about how benefits for a partner are treated as taxable income when they wouldn't be for a DOMA-recognized opposite-sex spouse.

    I hope I'm close on that. I'm probably not — but I'm sure someone else will jump in.

  • 24. Judy  |  April 21, 2011 at 10:13 am

    My partner and I are Registered Domestic Partners in a community property state, California. We ended up paying about $3000 extra federal tax because of the new rules. The reason in our case is that she only had to claim half of her income, while I had to claim 100% of my income plus the other half of hers. I got socked big time, and her small refund did not make up the difference. It's not better for us.

  • 25. SFBay  |  April 21, 2011 at 10:44 am

    We paid an extra $1500 dollars in federal taxes. Our CA state taxes went down. But, we had to have a CPA do them for a pretty penny this time as Turbo Tax did not update their program for those of us in community property states.
    This new federal rule is a back handed way of acknowledging the relationship, and I can hardly wait for DOMA to go away.

  • 26. Alan E.  |  April 21, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    If you don't mind me asking, how much did you pay? Our CPA charges us the same rate she does for any opposite-sex couple. I highly recommend her!

  • 27. Eric  |  April 21, 2011 at 11:13 am

    We had to pay so much more, because I had to pay self-employment tax on 50% of my husband's income, but I couldn't use many of his business deductions.

  • 28. Trish  |  April 21, 2011 at 8:21 am

    King & Spalding is a big firm with international offices. They have many, many partners with many, many different viewpoints. The partnership doesn't have to vote on every single client that a partner takes on. Rather, it is ordinarily the decision of an individual partner as to whether to take on a particular case, so long as there is no conflict of interest (I'm using that as a term of art). If one of the partners thinks that he can make a name for himself by representing the House in this monumental case, then let him. He'll make a name even if he loses.

    But what concerns me is the language contained in the contract that prohibits all King & Spalding attorneys and staff from "advocating" for passage of any law overturning DOMA.

    See the full contract here and check out Section 4.

    Is there any sort of first amendment claim there? It's not quite the same as the government telling its employees that they are not authorized to lobby or advocate, but it is the government telling its contractor that its employees may not lobby or advocate.

  • 29. Ann S.  |  April 21, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Trish, you make good points. Clement made this decision, and the rest of the firm may have had little to no say in the matter.

    But it certainly is troubling that this decision, perhaps made by a single partner, has such ramifications on the speech and activities of the rest of the firm.

    I suppose that if my firm represented XYZ company, which made widgets, I might not find it a career-boosting move to go about denouncing widgets and providing the public with information showing that widgets are poisoning us all and destroying the ozone layer.

    But to be preemptively prohibited from speaking out on a matter of public importance — I would find that very troubling.

  • 30. Trish  |  April 21, 2011 at 8:47 am

    I forgot all about widgets after law school.

  • 31. Ann S.  |  April 21, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Don't tell me you forgot about Blackacre and Whiteacre, too!

  • 32. Trish  |  April 21, 2011 at 10:14 am

    No interest is good unless it must vest, if at all, within 21 years after the death of some life in being at the time of creation of the interest.

    HA!

  • 33. Kate  |  April 21, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Well, I'll be darned. I was just wondering if we'd ever see you again, Trish! SO glad you're around. We need all the real legal eagles we can get.

  • 34. Trish  |  April 21, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I've been demoted to the position of "stalker" in recent days. Not enough time to post. But I've been watching you all.

  • 35. Trish  |  April 21, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I'm not offended by the fact that some lawyer in some firm has decided to make money by defending a law that I find morally repugnant. I'm not even offended that the House has chosen to defend the law. I am, however, offended at the doublespeak and politics of it all. I don't want to be a political tool. I am a human, not something you can use to show your conservative base that you are going to do what they want, even if they don't even really want it anymore.

    With regard to the gag order, I think I would quickly be looking for another job if my firm were the one defending DOMA for the House of Representatives. Although I am in California and the contract provision would be void with respect to CA employees, I wouldn't want to have to get into that discussion. I wouldn't want to have to resign from my position on the board of a gay organization. I wouldn't want to be associated with that firm.

  • 36. Trish  |  April 21, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Re-reading my post and it looks a little like doublespeak of my own. I just mean to say that I find a difference between (1) getting offended and up in arms about the law firm taking on the House as a client for defense of DOMA and (2) being an employee at that law firm that has taken up the defense. It's the same way I felt about all of the protests of private businesses who had one of the owners donate to the campaign for Prop 8. I wasn't personally offended by that business and didn't feel it necessary to morally condemn them, but I also didn't feel like giving them any more of my hard earned money.

  • 37. Eric  |  April 21, 2011 at 11:31 am

    My issue with them is that they claim to be LGBT friendly. Yet, they take a case like this and have hardly any LGB partners and no T partners

    They do not offer equal employment benefits to their employees with same-sex spouses because of DOMA and this case furthers that disparity.

    They agree to a contract with the government that prevents their employees from exercising their first amendment right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    I will stick with Wilson Sonsini for my legal work, this firm hasn't got a clue when it comes to public relations, let alone labor or constitutional law.

  • 38. Kathlene  |  April 23, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Defense of DOMA Update: Gag Order on Law Firm Revealed as Pelosi Presses Boehner on Costs of Litigation

  • 39. Sagesse  |  April 23, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Nancy Pelosi's full letter is available here. Not sure if it has been posted before, but it's worth the read.

    Pelosi presses GOP on DOMA defense contract
    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2011/04/20/pelosi-

  • 40. Sagesse  |  April 21, 2011 at 8:45 am

    I am puzzled. The Republicans who control the House have said they will defend DOMA, and that they will use outside counsel. Some lawyer, and law firm, was going to be hired, and was going to charge what law firms charge for the service. Someone with Republican connections and credentials. If not Paul Clement and King & Spalding, then someone else. And the marriage equality advocates would be just as incensed, just at someone else.

    It's not as though by refusing the case, Clement could keep Congress from defending DOMA. So what exactly is so wrong with this particular law firm agreeing to represent the US Congress when asked.

  • 41. adambink  |  April 21, 2011 at 10:11 am

    What is wrong is that Clement is, according to his colleagues, one of the most respected and talented people to argue before the Supreme Court at a firm.

    And our job is to make DOMA indefensible such that no well-regarded attorney would want to take the case. The response to someone choosing to defend discrimination cannot be a shrug, no more so than when someone is fired from a job for being LGBT, or no one will respect the power of an oppressed community and take that community seriously. People watch reactions to this.

  • 42. John B.  |  April 21, 2011 at 9:41 am

    I agree, it's disappointing that ANYBODY would choose to defend DOMA. But on the other hand, if (when!) our side wins despite the best efforts of the anti-gay forces, and especially if (when!) our side wins despite a strong showing on their side, that puts us in a much stronger legal position. And just think how much more delicious it will be when we win.

    What I find more troubling, and what the LA Times editorial didn't address, is the gag order the law firm is placing on its employees, whether they are involved in the case or not, whether they are lawyers or not, preventing them from any kind of political activism or advocacy supporting the repeal or overturn of DOMA (although in fairness, I would note the same gag order prevents them from advocating FOR DOMA, either).

  • 43. Jon  |  April 21, 2011 at 10:06 am

    There's no reason to conflate a right to legal representation with a choice of a particular firm to represent a particular client in a particular case. I have not been denied the former when a particular firm passes on my case.

  • 44. Rhonda  |  April 21, 2011 at 11:05 am

    How wrong can this man be?

  • 45. Michael Ejercito  |  April 22, 2011 at 10:54 am

    How wrong can this man be?

    Paul Clement?

    The Supreme Court reserves the final word on how wrong he is.

  • 46. Ronnie  |  April 22, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Not true….MAUDE!!!…. (rolls eyes) … 8 / ….Ronnie

  • 47. Michael Ejercito  |  April 22, 2011 at 11:08 am

    How so?

    If Paul Clement is a lawyer in an anti-DOMA suit and a petition for cert is delivered to the Supreme Court, the Court has no say on whether to take the case and determine if Clement is wrong?

  • 48. Ronnie  |  April 22, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Nobody is talking about the lawyer….the question was about the man…..& you are qualified to make the statements you are making because of the education (or 100% lack there of) in law you so much believe you have?….You're a troll who doesn't know how to read….go away…. > I …Ronnie

  • 49. Fr. Bill  |  April 21, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I, too, am concerned about Section 4 of the contract with King & Spalding restricting the freedom of speech of ALL its lawyers and employees and forbidding them from any activity to address their government for their OWN equal rights. Indeed it requires the firm to use its power as an employer to compel compliance. I am even more concerned that the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives would approve such a contract provision.

    It has been a long time since I was in active practice and a longer time since law school. However, I know that some provisions of private contracts are unenforceable when the impinge on others' legal rights. I wonder if lawyers and other employees of King & Spalding could sue to enjoin enforcement of such provisions in Federal or State Court.

    Kathleen, your views if any?

  • 50. Kathleen  |  April 21, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I've stayed out of the conversation about this because I don't really know much about it. As has been mentioned, it's likely unenforceable in some states.

    I'm particularly interested whether this is some sort of standard language that gets inserted in contracts with outside contractors, or whether this is a provision somewhat unique to this contract. And if the latter, who wanted this clause – the law firm? the feds?

  • 51. Sagesse  |  April 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Kathleen, you're asking precisely the right question. There's more to the Section 4 wording than meets the eye,

  • 52. Ann S.  |  April 21, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I don't know much about this area of the law, but I think it is likely that King & Spalding has become (if they weren't already) a government contractor, and there is a panoply of requirements that goes along with that — many, ironically enough, to do with promising not to discriminate. The government, of course, likes to impose whatever requirements it is imposing on the entirety of the contractor, wherever located, to the extent that it can.

    But there is so much that I do not know about this area of the law that I hesitate to give an opinion about whether this particular sort of requirement is usual, legal, or any of the rest of it.

    I agree with Trish that I would not want to long remain in the employ of any firm where I would be subjected to such a requirement. It's a lot to ask of the many employees of this firm, IMO — OTOH, it's juicy big-name federal appellate work, and I can see why Clement was tempted.

    I can see why he did it, but I wouldn't want to be working there myself.

  • 53. Ann S.  |  April 21, 2011 at 11:12 am

    §

  • 54. Alan E.  |  April 21, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Public defenders make a lot less money than this guy, and the $500k will surely be a minimum, not the cap.

  • 55. AnonyGrl  |  April 22, 2011 at 2:52 am

    An interesting point was raised in my mind… what if NO law firm agreed to take on this case (as would be their right)?

    Obviously this is entirely hypothetical, but it does happen that some people who wish to engage in civil litigation cannot find a lawyer to take their case (because the cases in question are ridiculous, for the most part…).

    How would that figure in the idea of "denying legal representation"? Any lawyer types around here know if a law is "guaranteed" a defense? Or am I TOTALLY confused and confusing on this point (which would not surprise me… I think I lost MYSELF in that last question 🙂 )

    (I do like parentheses… I like them so much I even once wrote a poem about them.)

    Please feel free to ignore the preceeding, it was random musing that doesn't really go anywhere.

  • 56. Alan E.  |  April 22, 2011 at 2:53 am

    At the very least, Liberty Council would take this one on.

  • 57. Michael Ejercito  |  April 22, 2011 at 10:51 am

    The quickest way to get to that point is to not defend the law.

    Under your interpretation of justice, would not repeal be the most effective method?

    After all DADT was repealed legislatively, and the pending court challenges against that law will eventually be moot.

    What’s next, the LA Times ed board arguing that proponents of Prop 8 should be granted standing to ensure “fair and reasonable” representation and that justice will be done so we can all have a nice and orderly debate?

    They did that in an editorial last fall. One of their columnists, George Skelton, also argued that Prop 8 deserved a good defense.

    This isn’t the Stanford Debate Society, these are people’s lives.

    The thugs who had robbed and murdered Matthew Shepard deserved a good defense.

    The pervert who had kidnapped and raped Elizabeth Shoaf deserved a good defense.

    Now, I certainly would not compare the sponsors of DOMA like Senator Robert Byrd to thugs and perverts. But if the worst among us deserve a defense, so does a law which had been successfully defended in court before.

  • 58. Ronnie  |  April 22, 2011 at 10:58 am

    It wasn't a robbery, it was a homophobic hate crime you uneducated detritus fake lawyer …now go back to the National Organization for Murder (NOM) ….. > I …..Ronnie

  • 59. Michael Ejercito  |  April 22, 2011 at 11:03 am

    It wasn’t a robbery, it was a homophobic hate crime you uneducated detritus fake lawyer …now go back to the National Organization for Murder (NOM) ….. > I …..Ronnie

    One does not exclude the other.

  • 60. Ronnie  |  April 22, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    wow, you really are just a homophobic moron….they are not the same in the least a robbery can random towards anybody & fueled by greed….a hate crime is an inhuman attack with no purpose other then to attack….get the F**K over yourself…. > I …Ronnie

  • 61. Joe  |  April 22, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    I dont see you crying about the 13 year old boy who was raped and sodomized by two homosexual males, having had his underwear stuffed in his mouth. Where is your outrage over that?
    http://www.dadi.org/wt_brape.htm

  • 62. Ronnie  |  April 23, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Never heard about it. That is horrible & unacceptable & should be treated as it is, a rape that resulted in a death, It is not a hate crime & it is not a robbery. Furthermore, their orientation has nothing to do with it…& this has nothing to do with the conversation…nice try though….move along…. 8 / ….Ronnie

  • 63. Sagesse  |  April 23, 2011 at 12:24 am

    The case Joe references occurred in 1999. Doesn't make it any less horrible, but it is not current. The men involved were tried and sentenced to life in prison.

  • 64. Joe  |  April 23, 2011 at 2:57 am

    The Matthew Shepard case occurred in 1998. And it was not a hate crime as Ronnie claims, but rather it has been classified by the prosecutor as a drug deal gone bad.

  • 65. Ronnie  |  April 23, 2011 at 3:02 am

    It was a homophobic hate crime….he was targeted because he was gay & the guys who murdered him said so…ok…moving on….. 8 / ….Ronnie

  • 66. Michael Ejercito  |  April 23, 2011 at 3:10 am

    wow, you really are just a homophobic moron….they are not the same in the least a robbery can random towards anybody & fueled by greed….a hate crime is an inhuman attack with no purpose other then to attack….get the F**K over yourself…. > I …Ronnie

    Why can't a crime be fueled by hate and greed?

  • 67. Ronnie  |  April 23, 2011 at 3:14 am

    I didn't say it can't…learn how to read…. 8 / ….Ronnie

  • 68. Ronnie  |  April 23, 2011 at 12:10 am

    Another thing…murderers & rapists do not deserve a good defense, they are entitled to A defense but a good one is subjective..

    DOMA is not a person protected by the constitution. It has no rights, benefits, or privileges. It doesn't pay taxes. Therefore it is NOT deserving of any defense, let alone a good one, nor is it entitled to one. But if you were a real lawyer, had any REAL education in law, & had a REAL education on the constitution as well as actually being capable of understanding & comprehending the constitution then you would know that.

    It is nothing but a discriminatory law that violates the 1st & 14th amendment rights of millions of Americans whose taxes (hard earned money) is being stolen to pay for the enforcement of it & now to defend it.

    I will not stand for my money being used to defend DOMA paying some lawyer way to much when there are over 200thou LGBT kids living on the streets because either their heterosexual parents abandoned them or they don't feel safe living with people like you. You want the government to defend this anti-American unconstitutional law then you give your money directly to the lawyer but I will not stand for Federal funding paying for it. As a tax payer I have a say in where my money is spent & I am done allowing my money to be used against me to appease the selfishness of some holier-then-thou homophobic religious dictators such as yourself.

    > I ….Ronnie

  • 69. Joe  |  April 23, 2011 at 2:47 am

    The US Congress is a person deserving of a defense. They are entitled to the best legal representation to make the argument that they acted within their constitutional powers in enacting DOMA.

    We do not presume that Congress acts unconstiutionally.

    If you dont like your tax money being spent to have to defend Congress in court, there is a very simple answer: stop filing lawsuits and work for repeal.

    BTW, the US Supreme Court has held that a taxpayer has no standing to complain about how taxes are spent.

  • 70. Ronnie  |  April 23, 2011 at 2:59 am

    Nobody is suing congress…nice try though…& the U.S. Congress is not a person it is an employee of the American people…..ALL American people including LGBT people & they are not entitled to use my hard earned money to defend DOMA

    "stop filing lawsuits and work for repeal."….I didn't file any lawsuits….so that's moot…don't give someone a reason to file a law suit….there simple.

    & I do have standing to complain about how taxes are spent….It's my money…It's my life…I own it…NOT the government.

    I'll repeat….

    You want the government to defend this anti-American unconstitutional law then you give your money directly to the lawyer but I will not stand for Federal funding paying for it. As a tax payer I have a say in where my money is spent & I am done allowing my money to be used against me to appease the selfishness of some holier-then-thou homophobic religious dictators such as yourself.
    > I ….Ronnie

  • 71. Joe  |  April 23, 2011 at 3:19 am

    If congress isn't being sued then what is the article III "case or controversy" that gives rise to the lawsuit? What is the standing of the plaintiff?

  • 72. Ronnie  |  April 23, 2011 at 3:25 am

    You seem to think you know everything about this so figure it out for yourself…lol…another benighted troglodyte playing make believe……(rolls eyes) …. 8 / ….Ronnie

  • 73. Joe  |  April 23, 2011 at 3:30 am

    Standard Ronnie answer. You're the one complaining…. not me.

  • 74. Ronnie  |  April 23, 2011 at 3:34 am

    Yeah ok…BWAAAAAAA…standard bigot answer….MAUDE!!!….. :-& ….Ronnie

  • 75. Joe  |  April 23, 2011 at 3:52 am

    The only MAUDE around here is you Ronnie. When you have no clue, all you do is start slinging pejorative terms like bigot and homophobe. Thanks for the good laugh.

  • 76. Ronnie  |  April 23, 2011 at 4:06 am

    ROFLMGAYAO……yeah that's not the correct use of the term "MAUDE"

    Anywho,You deserved it….bigot…homophobe…..I have a every clue, It is just that I was disinclined to acquiesce to your request because you are not worth it….so I went with figure it out for yourself since you seem to think you know everything about it…..you could've responded in like or with a quantitative & qualitative answer, but you chose to respond with insults (which now at this point shows you for the hypocrite you are)….The difference is I don't play make believe, I don't c&p & use other people's words as my own, & I don't lie like some of the homophobic trolls around here……Thanks for the good laugh…. XP ….Ronnie

    p.s. MAUDE!!!!

  • 77. Joe  |  April 23, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Well the way I understand it is to mean a person with no common sense.

    Qualitative and quantitative? Had to go the dictionary and look those words up did you?

    And I have not "insulted" you at all. I could have, with some very nice southern slang, but I havent. I have refrained, in the new policy of this board.

    BTW, Ronnie, from one Christian to another: Happy Easter! Jesus rose from the grave today so that all might be washed white as snow. I will say a prayer for you in Church tonight! God Bless.

  • 78. Ronnie  |  April 23, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Nope…that's not what it means….but I wouldn't expect you to know what it means….& no I didn't have to look up anything…I've used those two words plenty of times on this blog….nice try though, tragel…..

    Furthermore…I am not a Christian, nor am I your version of "Christian". A common man named Jesus didn't rise from any grave for me, & thanks but don't waste your prayers.

    The only part of that I will accept is "Happy Easter!" in reference to bunnies, jelly beans & yummy rainbow colored eggs.

    He says he didn't insult while posting quite a few insults….. pffft….MAUDE!!!….. 8 / ….Ronnie

  • 79. Kathlene  |  April 23, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    “The Matthew Shepard case occurred in 1998. And it was not a hate crime as Ronnie claims, but rather it has been classified by the prosecutor as a drug deal gone bad.”

    Joe is clearly a disgusting homophobe, don’t waste your time with him Ronnie <3

    "BTW, the US Supreme Court has held that a taxpayer has no standing to complain about how taxes are spent."

    Really, then why to politicians bend over backwards to appease pro-lifers with amendments that ban their tax dollars from funding abortions? Could you imagine if anti-war activists demanded their tax dollars not go to wars, environmentalists demanded their tax dollars not go to destroying the environment, animal rights activists demanded their tax dollars not go to killing animals… they'd get laughed at, right to their faces. But pro-lifers get everything they want and more.

  • 80. Joe  |  April 24, 2011 at 4:26 am

    Unfortunately for you I dont adhere to the concept of labels…. so your attempt to label me will get you nowhere fast.

  • 81. Joe  |  April 24, 2011 at 4:31 am

    And whether I vote for a politician has nothing to do with whether I can file a lawsuit against the US Government to complain about how taxes are spent.

  • 82. NCLR responds to LA Times&hellip  |  April 23, 2011 at 6:26 am

    […] wrote about the wrong-headed editorial here. Today, Maya Rupert at the National Center for Lesbian Rights responds and the LA Times runs her […]

  • 83. Rhie  |  April 23, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Watching

  • 84. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  September 12, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    […] those with long memories, this is the same LA Times ed board that editorialized in favor of a defense for DOMA after the Obama Administration refused to do so (an editorial to which was […]

  • 85. Adam Bink » Blog Ar&hellip  |  April 17, 2012 at 10:50 am

    […] Paul Clement is not a public defender and DOMA is not entitled to a defense, Prop8TrialTracker, April 21, 2011: This is a piece countering the points made in a Los Angeles Times editorial. The editorial chastised LGBT advocates over pressure on Paul Clement and King & Spalding for their legal defense of DOMA and proclaimed that DOMA deserves a defense. […]

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