Major American law firms apparently believe that some people do not deserve legal representation. This may be seen in the amicus briefs filed in the upcoming Supreme Court case that is widely expected to impose gay marriage on the entire country.
In the blizzard of amicus briefs filed for and against the Supreme Court, not a single major firm has introduced a brief in defense of traditional marriage, according to The New York Times.
The influence of the LGBT movement has been many years in the making. According to the LGBT Human Rights Campaign, all major law firms receive sterling ratings in the group’s annual ranking of LGBT-friendly companies. And most of them have been on this list for years. In 2002, not a single law firm ranked 100% in the HRC ranking. That number grew to 30 in 2008, 71 in 2013, and 89 in 2015.
As an example of the profound LGBT influence at major law firms, consider the case of Paul Clement, one of the glittering stars in the elite legal firmament.
When the Obama administration refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, a law passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton that for federal purposes defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, Clement offered to represent Congress in court on behalf of his firm King and Spalding. A firestorm of criticism ensued.
One source wondered to the Above the Law blog “how this would affect the firm’s LGBT recruitment efforts and sexual-orientation diversity (already minuscule, at under 1 percent).”
Another source told the blog, “You guys should really dig into King & Spalding’s representation of the House in defending the Defense of Marriage Act. I would think the LGBT associates there, the diversity committee, indeed anybody who values equal rights, should be throwing a real fit over this.” The threats were palpable. Within days, Clement’s partners announced they would not allow him to represent Congress on the issue.
Clement, who has appeared before the Supreme Court more than any other lawyer, left the firm where he was a partner and joined a smaller firm in order to defend the law, which he later lost.
It should be noted that many major firms climbed all over each other to represent the suspected terrorists held at Guantanamo. Law firms routinely represent clients who have bad reputations, murderers, polluters, tax cheats, and bank robbers. But it seems the power of the LGBT lobby has placed defenders of traditional marriage well beyond the legal pale, unworthy of representation.
Even powerful partners in large firms will say privately they must keep quiet about certain of their beliefs, including opposing abortion, and especially opposing gay marriage, careful not to put anything on Facebook or Twitter, and never to let even their closest colleagues know that they believe marriage cannot occur between men.
One major rainmaker at a huge global firm revealed that he could in no way be identified with any social conservative issue, especially marriage, even though he brings in millions in revenue and handles massive deals in foreign countries.
At the time he resigned from King and Spalding to represent the U.S. Congress in the DOMA case, Clement said, “I resign out of the firmly held belief that a representation should not be abandoned because the client’s legal position is extremely unpopular in certain quarters.”
It seems, at least in elite firms, Clement’s view is a distinctly minority one.
Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse.