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Boehner Triples Outlay For Defending DOMA

Jim Burroway

October 5th, 2011

Despite an era of massive cost cutting in Congress, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has tripled the original $500,000  cost cap for the legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act to $1.5 million:

According to recently approved contract modification dated Sept. 30, House General Counsel Kerry Kircher has agreed to pay Bancroft LLC private attorney Paul Clement a sum not to exceed $750,000 to defend DOMA, but this cap may be raised to $1.5 million under written notice.

“It is further understood and agreed that, effective October 1, 2011, the aforementioned $750,000.00 cap may be raised from time to time up to, but not exceeding, $1.5 million, upon written notice of the General Counsel to the Contractor specifying that the General Counsel is legally liable under this Agreement for a specific amount,” the contract modification states.

Democrats on the Committee of Administration have blasted the increase, and charged that the contracting process lacked “any semblance of transparency.”



October 5th, 2011 | LINK

Considering what Clement has presented so far as “arguments,” he’s way overpaid.

Although considering how badly Boehner and Clement are likely to lose if they maintain the standard they’ve set so far in this proceeding, it might be worth it.

October 5th, 2011 | LINK

New to this blog, but I find it addicting and a little depressing.

I found the tone of this post to be alittle out of touch. Major federal lawsuits are very $$, there is no way around that. From my limited experience, a $1.5 million budget would be reasonable.

The work on this would have come from the in-house firm at Justice on the general Dept. budget, but b/c Obama punted to Congress in a semi-legal way the money has to come from somewhere. If this is the only way for DOMA to go down, it should get a full hearing before the court without any short-changing.

For the Dem side to complain is little sour-grapes as they could have just zapped DOMA when they had the chance.

October 5th, 2011 | LINK

$1.5 mil is a pittance, to be sure, compared to the size of the deficit. However, one wonders if the Speaker concerned himself with offsetting the expenditure by making cuts in other parts of the budget.

October 5th, 2011 | LINK

On the same day that the Conservative Prime Minister of the UK threw the weight of his government behind marriage equality as a Conservative value reflecting commitment that helps bind society together. What’s so hard about that for American conservatives to grasp?

San Diego Rob
October 5th, 2011 | LINK

I feel good for being worth $1.5 million dollars…

October 5th, 2011 | LINK

At first I was shocked. Then I remembered Boehner is a high-ranking Republican whose conservative Christian base would gladly spend millions upon millions of dollars defending junk science, distorted science, and ‘Cameronesque’ science all in the name of ‘Christian love.’

October 6th, 2011 | LINK


Keep in mind that Congress was not required to defend DOMA in court, any more than DoJ is. This is pure politics on Boehner’s part. Considering the lame “arguments” Clement has come up with, and the sleazy tactics he’s tried, I can’t believe they expect anyone to take this seriously.

As for the Democrats “zapping” DOMA when they had the chance, when was that? In spite of the numbers, they haven’t had real majorities in Congress — not with the Blue Dogs voting with the Republicans half the time.

Timothy Kincaid
October 6th, 2011 | LINK

It might be worth noting that since he took the assignment, the DOJ has gone from “neutral” to “opposed” on DOMA. While I’m not sure it justifies a tripling of the budget, it could explain the increase to 750,000.

I just continue to remain shocked that outside of wachadoodle circles, this issue has gotten absolutely no interest whatsoever.

Timothy Kincaid
October 6th, 2011 | LINK


Congress is not required to defend DOMA. They aren’t even required to defend their constitutional powers.

But honestly, I think that for the future of the balance of powers, it is healthy for this law to be defended (and may it lose badly).

Boehner’s rhetoric on this decision is interesting. He’s talked about the House’s right to its role in creating legislation and how the President cannot on his own refuse to administer the laws he doesn’t like. He’s said almost nothing about gay marriage. From that perspective (and only that one) I find this decision a reasonable one.

(Alternately, he could have followed the lead of the Senate and found that the will of the House was not to keep the law and therefor there was no challenge to the House’s power).

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