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By Drew Johnson
Inept government shouldn't be entrusted with the power to kill its citizens
Topic - Paul D. Clement
The federal government has a "powerful interest" in a single, uniform definition of marriage, even if it excludes gay unions that are legal in individual states, the lawyer defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act said Wednesday as the Supreme Court concluded two days of landmark arguments on gay marriage.
Attorneys for the House of Representatives this week asked a federal court to throw out a case against the Defense of Marriage Act, saying the 1996 law is both constitutional and rational.
A top partner in the law firm that abruptly dropped the House of Representatives as its client in defending the federal law defining marriage blamed the move on "an unfortunate misunderstanding" that caused the firm to lose one of its top lawyers.
In preparing the legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) - which defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman - attorney Paul D. Clement was twice cited as saying attorneys must defend unpopular political causes ("Firm drops defense of marriage case," Page 1, April 26).
The Republican leadership in the House stepped up its efforts Monday to defend the federal government's marriage law, which is already under attack or implicated in as many as 10 lawsuits.
Paul D. Clement, an attorney for the corporations suing to stop the mandate, said there are ways.
"When Congress passed every one of the 1,100 statutes affected by DOMA's definition, the Congress that was passing that statute had in mind the traditional definition," he said.