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House Democrats to Boehner: Mr. Speaker, your DOMA attorney is out of line

Monday, September 26, 2011
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WASHINGTON — Six Democratic lawmakers on Monday sent U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), a letter reiterating their request for a briefing on the efforts of the law firm hired by the Speaker to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in several ongoing federal court challenges.

John Boehner

The lawmakers also criticized former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement’s handling of the case, challenging some of the arguments he has offered in court as factually incorrect or a distortion of research.

Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), chief sponsor of the House DOMA repeal legislation, along with fellow Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), and David Cicilline, (D-R.I.), wrote that Clement does not represent their viewpoint and is misrepresenting scientists that he has cited in federal legal filings.

“It is incumbent upon all lawyers — especially those paid for by taxpayers and responsible for representing a branch of our government — to undertake representation in an objective manner that is factually and legally supportable. Unfortunately, the outside counsel that you have retained have filed pleadings containing arguments and assertions that are troubling and appear to fall short of this standard.”

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“As Members who believe that DOMA is unconstitutional and support the President’s decision to stop defending it, we believe that the law is not factually or legally justifiable and we’re interested in hearing what arguments might possibly be made in its defense.”

DOMA prevents federal recognition of same-sex marriages and allows states to independently refuse to recognize them even if legally performed in other states.

Clement has argued that gay and lesbians are inferior parents, being gay is a choice, and LGBT people aren’t regularly victims of discrimination therefore should not be a constitutionally protected class.

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