Friday, September 10, 2010

Judge Rules DADT Unconstitutional

NY Times: The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy toward gay members of the military is unconstitutional, [Judge Virginia A. Phillips of Federal District Court] in California ruled Thursday.
...“The don’t ask, don’t tell act infringes the fundamental rights of United States service members in many ways,” she wrote. “In order to justify the encroachment on these rights, defendants faced the burden at trial of showing the don’t ask, don’t tell act was necessary to significantly further the government’s important interests in military readiness and unit cohesion. Defendants failed to meet that burden.”
The rule, she wrote in an 86-page opinion, has a “direct and deleterious effect” on the armed services.
Obviously this is a good thing. I found the timing of it a little suspect, although the case was filed in 2004. Maybe we're six years behind in the dockets. But already, whether directly or indirectly, I'm sensing a weird spin, including a text I received asking, "Will Obama appeal the decision?"

Here are the facts: the House passed legislation to repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell" on May 27th, 2010 with the support of the White House and Congressional Democrats. As with most every other piece of legislation, it's been stalled in the Senate. The chamber where legislation goes to die.

And as far as defending the law, as we've seen in the past with DOMA, the Department of Justice is obligated to defend laws that are on the books whether or not the administration agrees with them. Whether that includes the appeals process, I'm not certain, but let's not pretend that the Obama administration hasn't been supportive in the fight to repeal DADT. A Congressional repeal is much stronger and harder to reverse than an executive order.

UPDATE (8:45pm): According to Rachel Maddow on her most recent interview, the Justice Department had to defend it, but they don't have to appeal it.  Let's hope they don't.

1 comment:

NowhereMan said...

As I've said many times ,Obama can abolish don't ask don't tell any time he wants by executive order.He says he doesn't because any future president can recede the order.That argument to me is pathetically weak.
Once you end the discrimination of DADT,no president would have the balls to try to reverse the policy especially when poll after poll say that most Americans feel the policy should be changed.When Harry Truman integrated the army by executive order he didn't care that a survey of military personnel were overwhelmingly against it and it sure wasn't reversed.What the Democrats in Washington need is for pfizer to come up with viagra for the spine.If they did,they wouldn't be in the mess they're in today.
If there was a book written about todays modern DC Democrat it would be titled"Profiles In Caution"