When the Obama administration instructed Attorney General Eric Holder not to defend DOMA in court any longer because they found the law to be unconstitutional, it didn’t stop the House Republicans from mounting their own defense in the Spring of 2011. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders hired attorneys at the law firm Bancroft LLC to represent the House in court cases involving the federal ban on gay marriage. It wasn’t their own money the Republicans put up for the legal battle, it was all funded with taxpayer dollars! Basically, you and I are paying for them to fight to keep a discriminatory law in place that we do not agree with in any way. What’s wrong with this picture?
We all pay taxes because we are required to do so. I don’t know about you but I certainly didn’t send my hefty check to the IRS to fund the GOP’s discrimination against the lesbian and gay community. I don’t believe in DOMA. I was opposed to it way back when it was initially passed and I’m opposed to it now. I don’t recall anyone from the GOP asking if I wanted to contribute my share of the hard earned tax dollars to assist them in perpetuating discrimination.
Fast forward to 2013. Several courts have already found DOMA to be unconstitutional. Now the United States Supreme Court is poised to hear two DOMA cases. According to the Huffington Post, Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), chair of the House Administration Committee, signed a revised contract with Bancroft LLC that increases the spending cap to $3 million, allowing the firm’s attorneys to continue defending DOMA in court. The revised contract also bears the signatures of Bancroft partner Paul Clement and Kerry Kircher, general counsel for the House of Representatives. This took place on January 4th of this year.
The Huffington Post reports that:
“The revised contract comes on the heels of House Republican leaders inserting language into the rules package for the 113th Congress that authorizes the House legal team to keep paying outside counsel to defend DOMA. The rules package also states that the House legal team continues to “speak for” all House members in its defense of DOMA — language that infuriated Democrats opposed to the matter. All but one Republican, Rep. Walter Jones (N.C.), voted to pass the rules package, effectively endorsing the DOMA language. But a Jones spokesman told The Huffington Post that Jones’ opposition wasn’t DOMA-related.”
They are a sneaky bunch, wouldn’t you say?
House Democrats voiced their opposition to pouring more taxpayer dollars into defending DOMA in a letter to Boehner:
“We wish to strongly reaffirm our objections to the repeated actions by the Republican leadership to secretly and dramatically increase the contract between the House and outside counsel in arguing to uphold the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in more than a dozen cases,” reads the letter from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).
“It is the height of hypocrisy for House Republicans to waste public funds in one breath then claim the mantle of fiscal responsibility in the next,” the letter continues. “With Republicans willing to take our economy and our country to the brink of default in the name of deficit reduction, there is simply no excuse for any Member of Congress to commit taxpayer dollars to an unnecessary — and futile — legal battle.”
Okay folks, it’s time to start making some serious noise. Call, write and e-mail your congress members. Ask everyone you know to do the same. This is unconscionable. If the GOP wants to continue fighting DOMA, they should do so with their own money, not with ours.
It’s bad enough we are forced to fund pensions and insurance plans for Congress when we had no say in those expenditures either! Don’t even get me started.
Stay connected with our Social Media Pages:
Connecticut Lesbian and Gay Law blog on Facebook for all blog posts from this blog as well as additional stories and links of interest to the LGBT community.
Attorney O’s Midnight Musings Blog on Facebook for all blog posts from that blog as well as other legal news.
Be sure to LIKE our pages and become a follower!
Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog. Read my entire disclaimer.
copyright 2013 Irene C. Olszewski, Esq.