PA Gov Hires Law Firm To Defend State’s Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

Jim Burroway

September 6th, 2013

Gov. Tom Corbett (R) has hired a Chester County law firm to represent the Commonwealth in a marriage equality suit filed in U.S. District Court. The case, Whitewood v. Corbett, was filed in July by the ACLU and challenges the state’s law banning same-sex marriage. (Pennsylvania does not have a constitutional banning same-sex marriage.) William Lamb, who is described as a “super lawyer” by the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Commonwealth Confidential blog, is a former state Supreme Court Justice and district attorney for Chester County:

Corbett’s general counsel James Schultz said the “unique circumstances” of this case compelled the Office of General Counsel to retain expert assistance in this case. “The Office of General Counsel provides comprehensive legal services to numerous state agencies and executives, but we do not typically defend cases that solely challenge the constitutionality of a statute,” Schultz said. “Who better than a former Supreme Court Justice and his firm to assist in addressing this type of fundamental question?”

Schultz continued, “Legal arguments concerning the constitutionality of any state law are a pressing matter for the commonwealth, along with all concerned parties, and it is important that these cases receive a comprehensive defense,” he said. “Justice Lamb and his firm bring a unique set of legal experience and skills to this case.”

The action comes after Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced that she would not defend Pennsylvania’s law restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples, saying that she does not believe the statute is constitutional. The ACLU welcomes the move:

“We appreciate having good counsel on the other side because generally it improves presentation of the competing arguments, which helps the judge reach a sound decision,” (ACLU of Pennsylvania legal director Vic Walczak) said.

Timothy Kincaid

September 6th, 2013

It will be fascinating to see the legal arguments.

corey

September 6th, 2013

How much money is being spent on…. bigotry?

Feed and house the homeless! sheesh!

Ben in Oakland

September 7th, 2013

I could hear the snark in the ACLU statement. “Let’s have someone intelligent doin it this time, unlike a certain CC, so that sedan show that the arguments truly are bankrupt.”

Ben in Oakland

September 7th, 2013

Damned autocorrect and damned dyslexia, so that they can show”

KZ

September 7th, 2013

corey,

Joe Jervis from JoeMyGod claims Lamb will be paid $400/hr and members of his team will bill the state $325/hr (just enough to make me throw up in my mouth).

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