Kagan Praises Clement’s Integrity After His Resignation from King & Spalding
Justice Elena Kagan praised one of her predecessors in the solicitor general’s office on Thursday after his resignation from King & Spalding in a dispute over a controversial representation.
Kagan praised Paul Clement for his “integrity, professionalism and honor,” the Washington Post reports. Clement is defending the federal law that bans recognition of gay marriages on behalf of the U.S. House of Representatives. Clement accepted the representation while working at King & Spalding, and resigned when the law firm said it was dropping the high-profile client. He has since joined the Bancroft law firm, where he will continue to handle cases challenging the law, the Defense of Marriage Act.
Kagan said it didn’t surprise her that Clement resigned rather than abandon a client, according to the Post account. Those who criticize Clement “misunderstand the traditions and ethics of the legal profession,” she said.
Kagan spoke at a reception honoring the acting solicitor general, Neal Katyal. The event was closed to reporters, but Kagan confirmed recollections of her remarks through a court spokeswoman, the Post story says.
In another development, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has ended his office’s relationship with King & Spalding, citing the law firm’s “obsequious act of weakness” in its decision to drop its defense of the law. The Washington Examiner broke the news on Friday.