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Archive of entries posted on February 2011

Holder, DOMA and the Duty to Defend Federal Statutes

Attorney General Eric Holder has notified Congress, pursuant to 28 USC 530D, that the Justice Department will not defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in two pending cases.  Holder explains that while DOJ has previously defended the constitutionality of DOMA, the current cases were filed “in jurisdictions without precedent on whether sexual-orientation [...]

Clemens Plays Hard(in) Ball with Congress

I know what you’re thinking.  How long did it take me to come up with that title?  (Couple hours, tops). Anyway, as has been widely reported, Roger Clemens and his attorney, Rusty Hardin, have subpoenaed the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (COGR) in relation to the upcoming criminal case against Clemens for congressional [...]

More Implications of DC Bar Ethics Opinion No. 358

As mentioned in my last post, D.C. Bar Legal Ethics Opinion No. 358 amplifies the 1977 opinion in a couple ways that are of interest.  First, the Legal Ethics Committee (LEC) states that a prosecutor holds “a position akin to counsel for an investigative congressional committee” for purposes of the legal ethics rules. Although the [...]

DC Bar Opinion on the Ethics of Congressional Lawyers

In 1977, the Legal Ethics Committee (LEC) of the D.C. Bar, interpreting the Code of Professional Responsibility (the predecessor to the Rules of Professional Conduct), opined that an attorney serving as counsel to a congressional committee was prohibited by the disciplinary rules from requiring a witness to appear at televised hearings when the committee had [...]

Could Judge Porteous Become President?

To return to a subject from a few weeks ago, Seth Tillman argues that the Disqualification Clause does not authorize the Senate to disqualify an impeached and removed official from serving as president. See The Originalist Who Came In From The Cold: A “New” View of the Incompatibility Clause, the Removal & Disqualification Clause, and [...]