On Tuesday, Democrats on the Committee on House Administration made public a report stating the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group — which took up defense of [the Defense of Marriage act (DOMA)] after the Obama administration announced it would no longer defend the law in court — has reached expenses totaling out to $1,447,996.73 over the course of fiscal years 2011 and 2012.Itemized expenses reveal the cost of defending DOMA in court was $702,205.57 in FY-11 and $745,791.16 in FY-12.
That's just shy of the $1.5 million cost cap that House Republicans set last year to pay private attorney Paul Clement, a former U.S. solicitor general under the Bush administration, to defend DOMA.
And what did Speaker Boehner get for all that money and effort? A great big bucket of fail:
Thus far, Clement has lost in five federal courts against lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of DOMA — most notably after U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals became the first appellate court to strike down the law.House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:
“For more than a year, Speaker Boehner and Congressional Republicans have committed valuable taxpayer dollars to defending discrimination and preserving inequality – only to lose case after case in their effort to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act," Pelosi said. "There is nothing effective or efficient about this utter abuse of the people’s trust or the public purse; it is simply wasteful and wrong, and Americans deserve better."Continues:
"Rather than join Democrats to create jobs and strengthen the middle class, Republicans refuse to abandon their reprehensible fight to deny basic civil rights and justice to an entire group of their fellow Americans," Pelosi said. "The American people should no longer have to foot the bill for Speaker Boehner’s campaign to appease the most conservative forces within the Republican Party."New York Rep. Jerry Nadler:
“Speaker Boehner has wasted more than a year, and more than $1.5 million taxpayer dollars defending DOMA," Nadler said. "So far, he has lost five cases in a row as every court has ruled that there is no legitimate justification for this law. Every day, DOMA harms thousands of American couples and their children. Instead of wasting taxpayer money defending this unjust law in court, Speaker Boehner should join us in our effort to repeal it."But Boehner has created a nice cottage industry for his old friend Paul Clement who apparently doesn't mind wrapping his long career in defeat and ignobility.
The House will almost certain pass another budget to continue the defense, but declined comment on such to the Blade. Doug NeJaime, a law professor at Loyola Law School speculates when the Supreme Court likely decides to hear the case, costs will rise "considerably."
This would be an excellent time to remind people of the importance of putting Nancy Pelosi back in the speaker's chair. Speaker Pelosi's House will have bigger fish to fry than dictating what Americans should be doing in their personal lives. How about passing some jobs legislation, and creating some paychecks for people who are doing more constructive things than working to deny the civil rights of their fellow Americans?