Cowards Or Tyrants?

The law firm of King & Spalding has taken the cowardly action of bowing to PC threats and withdrawing from the defense of DOMA. That's one way to look at it. Certainly the action is shameful.

Or did they just drive Paul Clement out? Hadley Arkes has been predicting for years that as gay rights laws passed, it would become impossible for anyone defending natural law and natural rights to work for a conventional law firm. From Clement's resignation letter:
"Efforts to delegitimize any representation for one side of a legal controversy are a profound threat to the rule of law," Clement continues.  "Much has been said about being on the wrong side of history.  But being on the right or wrong side on the merits is a question for clients.  When it comes to the lawyers, the surest way to be on the wrong side of history is to abandon a client in the face of hostile criticism."
Update: Volokh has a good post, w/ background. The law firm caved to pressure from HRC. Here's what the LA Times --which supports gay marriage-- said about that:

It’s perhaps understandable that leaders of an advocacy group like the Human Rights Campaign would be outraged at the idea of anyone defending a law that they so strongly believe is discriminatory. But the suggestion that it’s shameful for Clement or his firm to do so misunderstands the adversarial process. For one thing, with sharp-witted counsel on both sides making the strongest possible arguments, it is more likely that justice will be done. For another, a lawyer who defends an individual or a law, no matter how unpopular or distasteful, helps ensure that the outcome is viewed as fair. If DOMA is struck down, the fact that it was defended effectively will make the victory for its opponents more credible. . . .
If you want a settled question, you have to be perceived to have won fairly and on the merits, not just by tyranny of the majority. But of course HRC's position is: "Shut up!"