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Paul Clement Starts Abandoning Defence of DOMA In Courts

Paul_D._ClementThat is the end of that. House Republicans have quietly put an end to the defense of the Defense of Marriage Act in the courts. There are numerous cases before the courts which involve DOMA. Many of those cases were put on hold while waiting for the Windsor case to be decided by the US Supreme Court.

Paul Clement, the lawyer who has been defending DOMA in the courts, announced that he was withdrawing from a case in which military servicemembers were suing for military benefits for their same-sex partners by saying “The Supreme Court recently resolved the issue of DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality. The Windsor decision necessarily resolves the issue of DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality in this case. While the question of whether 38 U.S.C. § 101(3), (31) is constitutional remains open, the House has determined, in light of the Supreme Court’s opinion in Windsor, that it no longer will defend that statute. Accordingly, the House now seeks leave to withdraw as a party defendant.”

The case was being argued by lawyers from the now largely defunct OutServe-Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

The Republicans in the House have spent more than two million defending DOMA in the courts, and while it is unclear if they are planning to withdraw council from all the cases, it certainly begins to look that way.

The Republicans hired Clement to defend DOMA after Attorney General Eric Holder chose not to defend the law in court citing the fact that it is unconstitutional. The decision angered many Republicans who tried, rather idiotically, to claim that it is the duty of the President to defend every law passed by Congress in the courts.

This past June, the US Supreme Court struck down the portion of DOMA preventing the Federal Government from recognizing the same-sex marriages entered into in states that have legalized such marriages.



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