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Thursday, March 10, 2011

During hard times, Boehner to Spend Tens of Millions in Legal Fees


In a move that won't help a single family during hard times, Speaker Boehner will direct the House's General Counsel to spend whatever it takes, including hiring costly outside law firms, to litigate the Defense of Marriage Act.

The Congress will not vote on this, so there is no indication that the law has current or broad-based support, even.

Whether Boehner has the authority under the rules to direct the hiring of outside counsel is unclear. Typically, Committees of the House must vote before hiring outside counsel.

There are no special controls on how this money will be spent or how much. No scoring from the CBO of the cost to the taxpayer.


There is no advance, public legal opinion from the House's General Counsel Kerry Kirchner, even, that his view of the current state of the law is that DOMA section 3 is constitutional. What findings of fact is he using to support such a view, in advance of costly litigation? Unlike DADT, there are none written into the statute. His findings and legal advice are meant to be nonpartisan and independent - he's not Speaker Boehner's personal lawyer.