More details emerged today about the contract that House Republicans awarded to a private law firm to defend the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The gist of the contract is that the law firm will be paid a 'blended rate' of $520/hour with a cap of $500,000.
But if you do the math, you realize that this won't get their defense very far. At this rate, it will only pay for ONE full-time lawyer for less than six months (see below for the math). There is no way any respectable lawyer can mount a defense of a federal law on multiple fronts this way.
Speaker Boehner is trying to hide the exorbitant cost that he is undertaking in his defense of DOMA, which will easily cost millions of dollars. It's especially annoying when compared to his rhetoric on the need to slash the federal budget.
And the law firm that will take these millions of dollars? King & Spaulding is a law firm with offices all over the country. And the firm brags about how it values diversity and participates in a range of activities supporting the LGBT community.
King & Spaulding also boasts about its 95% score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index (CEI). With a score that high, the firm itself must have nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation and gender identity. It must also offer domestic partner benefits to its LGBT employees.
Paul Clement is the partner at King & Spaulding who is charged with overseeing the defense of DOMA. While he is a well-respected former Solicitor General of the United States, he now must explain the hypocrisy of his defense of a policy at odds with the firm at which he is a partner. This is only the beginning of how history will judge him. I'm pretty sure that the firm that defended Brown vs. Board of Education didn't even start off with this obvious hypocrisy.
The whole situation is offensive. The Speaker of the House lies about the cost of this case. The lawyer that he has hired to handle the case does so in direct opposition to the policies of his own firm. Lies and Hypocrisy. That's all this amounts to.
The Math:$500,000/$520=962 hours. 962 hours/40 hour work week= 24 weeks