King and Spalding the firm chosen by republicans on the so-called bi-partisan legal advisory group (they didn't even tell the two sitting democrats that they were hiring the firm) have backed out of defending section three of the Defense of Marriage Act.
This leaves house republicans in a difficult place.
No other "first tier" law firm will be willing to take on the case as it has already suffered a de-facto defeat through this measure. This means the only people likely to take up the mantle will be highly biased operations like the "Liberty" Counsel or the American "Family" Association.
The trouble with these outfits is that their animus and hatred (not to mention incompetence vis Prop eight) is well documented and is, therefore, all the more likely to make judges consider the cases under the review standard of heightened scrutiny which, in my opinion, makes a loss almost inevitable for the defendants.
I predict this facet of DOMA will fail and fail fast.