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Dems Press Boehner on DOMA Lawyers

Dems Press Boehner on DOMA Lawyers

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Three Democrats are asking House speaker John Boehner for more information about the new law firm hired by House Republicans to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court.

House Administration Committee ranking member Robert A. Brady and committee members Zoe Lofgren of California and Charles A. Gonzalez of Texas sent a joint letter to Boehner after the law firm of King and Spalding decided to pull out of the case; one of its partners, former solicitor general Paul Clement, had signed on to defend the government. Soon after King and Spalding withdrew its resources, Clement resigned from the firm and joined Bancroft PLLC.

The Congress members wrote, "It is abundantly clear that 'inadequate vetting' of the contract occurred not only at King & Spalding, as its chairman admitted in withdrawing from the contract, but also in the Congress whose Members were unaware a contract had been signed. We are particularly concerned, as the Democratic Members of the Committee on House Administration, that we were not informed of such a contract nor given the opportunity to review its provisions, including the as much as $500,000 cost."

The members say that prolonging DOMA defense takes time and resources away from job creation and constitutes defending discrimination, adding that they would like the opportunity to "review and raise questions" about the provisions of the contract that is now being granted to Clement and Bancroft PLLC.

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