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View Diary: Majority supports marriage equality—Republicans hire $520 an hour lawyer to fight it (76 comments)

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  •  whoa ...There is a profound difference (0+ / 0-)

    between representing someone in a criminal defense and  taking on an action like this. It isn't the same principle at work.

     Every person is entitled to a defense - but not every law.  There is no reason that this law needs to have its day in court.   DOMA doesn't have civil rights that need to be defended.  It doesn't have the right to a fair trial in the courts.  

     I remember people arguing that the government HAD to defend the law.  Well clearly..we are shown now that that isn't true.  

      GLBT employees should not go work for a firm that works against them in their lives.  I hope it does affect their recruiting.  

    •  It's Congress having its day in Court (1+ / 0-)
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      In defense of a law which passed 85–14 in the Senate and a 342–67 in the House, and which has never come close to legislative repeal.

      Should anyone work at a law firm which defends employers which are accused of discrimination in their hiring/firing? How far are you going to take this principle?

      •  A law firm is a for profit institution (0+ / 0-)

        There are high legal ideals..but just because a lawyer touches a case doesn't make a case rise to the level of some sacrosanct principle.    And they are big profits by the way.   They are in the business of making money.

         Further no matter how a  law passes, it does not rise to the level of an individual criminal or even a company.  The law has no civil rights and doesn't face injury. An institution that is accused of discriminating MAY be innocent so of course it needs defending.  Are you telling me this law may be innocent?  Because clearly it does prohibit gay married people from rights.

        There is no higher need to defend a discriminatory law.

           As a for profit institution, a law firm needs to be held to the same standard as any institution which gives money and support to discrimination.  People should choose where they work based on the choices their employer makes.


        •  The higher need is respect for democracy (1+ / 0-)
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          Overwhelming legislative majorities passed these laws, and have not need fit to repeal them. Yes, they're bad laws which I believe will be found unconstitutional now, but that's not to say that no one should defend them.

          So no one should work at a law firm which represents employers in cases alleging discrimination?

          •  No I said the opposite (0+ / 0-)

            if you see above.  An institution or company that is accused of discriminating MAY be innocent - therefore there are arguments to defend it.  DOMA is not innocent.

             The fact is DOMA already had its day in court. So you are saying that the administration in deciding  not to defend this law is shirking its responsibility?  That they should be defending it for democracy sake.

              Even if you argue, which I disagree, that DOMA should be defended by someone..the idea that a gay and lesbian employee should consider  joining  a firm leading the effort is strange.  You are asking them to help make money for the firm, in order to support the firm's effort at a discount (yes 525 is probably a discount) on a high profile case which if successful would mean that their lives would be worse in a material way. They would in a sense be working against their own beliefs and principles.   Are you asking gay and lesbian attorneys and staff should do that?  

            Law firms choose their clients based on ideology, profit and profile.  Its a for profit business that makes decisions on ideology all the time. Conservative law firms take conservative clients. They aren't neutral entities defending legal principles.   Employees have choice just like law firms...and they should.

            •  I don't think that's accurate. (1+ / 0-)
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              1.  DOMA hasn't already "had its day in court." Some courts have upheld it; a recent one has found it unconstitutional. It's unsettled.

              2. I wouldn't attribute the cases chosen by individual attorneys at a firm to the firm as a whole. Does my representation of this site make all my partners progressives?

              3. There are lots of ways in which firms work against the interests of their staff.  Arguing for less expansive definitions of employment discrimination is just one of them.

              •  But (0+ / 0-)

                The administration has decided not to defend it and decided they agreed it was unconstitutional.  They are agreeing with the court that found it so.  So then.. Are they shirking their responsibility then by not defending it because people voted for it and its unsettled?

                DOMA is discrimination and therefore it links up to other higher principles as well.   If in fact, people voted by a majority to reinstate slavery for a particular group of people, would it be a bad thing to decide  you didn't want to actively work to support an immoral law by making money for the law firm defending it? Isn't that a personal moral decision as well.

                  In fact, Law firms do take cases based on ideology..The partnership decides what cases to take.  They can in fact decide not to take cases.  So they get to make that decision but you are saying that employees don't get to decide what law firm they work for based on their own ideology?  Law firms  have the right but not their employees

                 There are law firms that spend most of their time working for management against unions. The people who make that choice to join that firm know that and decide if that is the kind of place they get to work.   Why is it not a valid moral choice when you decide you don't want to do that kind of law?  In fact, lawyers look at the cases firms take and make those decisions ALL the time.

                 There are  principles which get equal weight with the right of representation.  Personal moral principles related to  your money and time (as an employee) are also part of the equation.

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