California Court Bans DADT Enforcement, But Obama Administration Objects

Last week, San Francisco's 9th Circuit Court of Appeals—which is currently facing an appeal by Prop 8 opponents—ordered an immediate end of enforcement of Don't Ask Don't Tell, saying now that the Obama Administration has declared it unconstitutional, rendering the Pentagon powerless to enforce it. And while the military has set about dismantling the policy, Obama is requesting the court reconsider. CNN:

At issue in the complex legal fight is whether "don't ask, don't tell" can remain in effect -- even in name only -- while the legal fight over its constitutionality is being carried out in the federal courts. Judges have been at odds over the enforcement issue for months.

The case has put the Obama administration in an unusual position of supporting a repeal, but at the same time filing court motions to prevent it from happening faster than planned. Military officials suggest the policy compliance changes eliminating "don't ask, don't tell" could be finished in a few weeks.

According to JustOut, the Log Cabin Republicans—who took the request to repeal DADT to the 9th Circuit in the first place—released a quite displeased press release, accusing the Administration of still wanting the power to exclude or discharge servicemembers for being gay, essentially extending the discrimination:

“This latest maneuver by the President continues a pattern of doublespeak that all Americans should find troubling. All this does is further confuse the situation for our men and women in uniform,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director, combat veteran and captain in the United States Army Reserve. “Let me be clear – the president is asking the court for the power to continue threatening servicemembers with investigation and discharge, and the right to turn away qualified Americans from military service for no reason other than their sexual orientation. Even if the administration never uses that power, it is still wrong, and the Ninth Circuit was clear that there is no justification for continuing the violation of servicemembers’ constitutional rights. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is an offense to American values that should have been gone long ago. It is shameful that a president who has taken credit for opposing the policy is taking extreme measures to keep it on life support.”

“The motion that the government filed today has no other purpose than to request – on an emergency basis – that the military be permitted to investigate and discharge servicemembers, and block new enlistments, based solely on those individuals’ sexuality,” said Dan Woods, partner of White & Case and lead attorney in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States.  “The government’s request is inexplicable on any other basis.”

Read more at JustOut.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at July 16, 2011, 6:33am

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