Wow: When Barry Met Kathy
The bullying from left wingers continues, but in this case it’s not union bullying – it’s radical liberals bullying lawyers who are hired to defend laws defining marriage as one man and one woman. Via Jennifer Rubin:
The left has predictably gone batty over the resignation of former solicitor general Paul Clement from the law firm of King and Spalding after the white-shoe firm backed out of its representation of the House of Representatives on the Defense of Marriage Act case. Greg Sargent interviewed a gay rights activist and got a remarkable admission: The left favors politically bullying to deter lawyers from representing clients it doesn’t like:
I just got off the phone with leading gay rights advocate Richard Socarides, who had led the charge against the firm, and he tore into the decision by Clement — the Solicitor General under George W. Bush — by pointing out that it’s folly to present this as a principled stance.
“He tries to make the case that lawyers should represent unpopular causes — but this is not merely an unpopular cause, this is an un-American cause,” Socarides said. “If a lawyer represents an unpopular client who’s defending an important principle, that is what the legal system is about. If the client is unpopular but the principle is important, then it’s important to do.”
“But this is not an important principle,” Socarides continued. “The only principle he wishes to defend is discrimination and second class citizenship for gay Americans. It’s very wrong.”
Socarides made an important point: Even if the House GOP will be able to continue its defense of the law, the decision by King and Spalding signals that defending opposition to gay marriage is now politically toxic with the mainstream, a clear sign of the shift in public opinion on gay rights.
And who will determine what is “important”? Why Socarides, of course. The entire notion is at odds with the left’s usual defense of attorneys who represent all manner of heinous defendants. When conservatives merely wanted to know which Obama Justice Department attorneys had represented al-Qaeda terrorists the hollering was deafening. (McCarthyism! The right of legal representation!) When former White House counsel Greg Craig’s record of representing a long list of unsavory characters came to light liberals didn’t bat an eye.
There really is no stance the left takes on any given issue that they’re not shown to be raving hypocrites shortly thereafter, is it?
Legal eagle John Hinderaker at Power Line adds:
As Clement noted, defense of DOMA is “extremely unpopular in certain quarters.” But lawyers represent unpopular clients and unpopular causes all the time. Many of America’s most prominent law firms lined up to represent terrorists, including those associated with the September 11 attacks, in various legal proceedings. On the left, it is apparently fine to advocate for mass murderers, but not for the House of Representatives or the traditional definition of marriage.
One striking aspect of this incident is that DOMA is not especially unpopular. It may well enjoy the support of most Americans, and, in any event, it is certainly a lot more popular than terrorism. But in elite circles–those that matter to the management of firms like King & Spalding–the radical gay lobby enjoys a special status.
That said, we will never know whether the law firm reversed course out of conviction or cowardice, because there is another difference between this case and the pro bono representation of terrorists: while some may disapprove of the latter representations, they are not crazed. They will not show up in the law firm’s lobby, and they will not take out full-page newspaper ads. Angering ordinary citizens is safe; angering the extreme fringe of the gay lobby is not.
Of course, political blackmail is something uber-leftists know how to utilize especially well, with the mainstream media’s blessing and encouragement, natch. Whatever you think of DOMA, this successful intimidation campaign, waged by thugs who are – contra to the assertions of even some on the right’s side – not on the fringes of the left, is bad news for the future of legal representation when it comes to the defense of so-called “unpopular” conservative positions in a court of law. As William Duncan noted in the National Review link I used earlier:
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.
Yep. Defending Islamofascist terrorists? Good. Defending traditional marriage? Bad.