That's the date that the DOJ has to respond to a much more organized and LGBT establishment-backed challenge to DOMA by GLAD in Massachusetts. The legal questions about the constitutionality of DOMA are the same as the now infamous California case, but this time the Plaintiffs are backed by the mainstream LGBT organizations. Given the backlash that the California response has caused, the Obama administration cannot hide behind the DOJ on this one. The administration and the DOJ leadership better be involved on this one.
Note that the Administration has every right to argue against a federal law it feels is unconstitutional:
The President of the United States has an "undisputed right to... refuse to defend in court, statutes which he regards as unconstitutional."4 Ameron, Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 787 F.2d 875 ¶ 41 (3d Cir. 1986). This right is often exercised by directing the Department of Justice to challenge, rather than defend, an impugned statute....
The Justice Department has, historically, refused to defend statutes that are unconstitutional because they violate the rights of citizens5 and statutes that are unconstitutional because they violate the separation of powers.6 In 1946, the Justice Department argued against the constitutionality of a statute that directed the President to withhold compensation from three named employees. United States v. Lovett, 328 U.S. 303 (1946). In 1983, the Justice Department argued against the constitutionality of a legislative veto on citizenship applications. INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919 (1983). In 1988, the Department of Justice challenged the constitutionality of the independent counsel statute. Morrison v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654 (1988).
The Department of Justice may also notify Congress of a refusal to defend an impugned statute without appearing in court for either side. As recently as 2005, the Department of Justice notified congress that it would not defend a law prohibiting the display of marijuana policy reform ads in public transit systems. ACLU et al., v. Norman Y. Mineta (civil action no. 04-0262).
Find out more about the Massachusetts-based DOMA challenge here: