Friday, October 15, 2010

Pentagon Suspends DADT After Court Injunction and Why DOJ Must Appeal

From the Dept. of Defense website:

Pending an appeal, the military services have halted discharges under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, DOD officials said today.
Judge Virginia Phillips of the U.S. Central District of California ordered the halt to discharges and investigations. Phillips found the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell statute unconstitutional in a Sept. 9 ruling. On Oct. 12, she issued an injunction ordering the Defense Department worldwide to halt discharges and investigations.
“Earlier today, the staff judge advocate generals from the military services, in consultation with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Office of General Counsel, sent to their service staff judge advocate counterparts in the field an e-mail informing them of the ruling by Judge Virginia Phillips of the Central District of California, issuing an injunction barring the enforcement or application of 10 United States Code 654, commonly known as the ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’ statute,” Pentagon spokesman Marine Col. Dave Lapan said in a written statement.
“The e-mail noted that the U.S. government is contemplating whether to appeal and to seek a stay of the injunction,” Lapan said.
“The Department of Defense will of course obey the law, and the e-mail noted that, in the meantime, the department will abide by the terms in the court’s ruling, effective as of the time and date of the ruling,” he said.
It's only a matter of time before Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed.

I don't have a dog in this fight, but so far, every headline I read regarding the pending appeal is the contradictory approach the Obama administration has in wanting the law repealed while defending the law.

I love me some Rachel Maddow, but her snark here is a little much. And she does have a dog in this fight. Thankfully, her guest, former Solicitor General Walter Dellinger, makes this convoluted situation very clear.

...the President said that this will end on his watch, and he's actually moved the ball pretty far down -- down the road to making that happen because the President has gotten the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to agree that the policy should end. He, himself, has stated unequivocally that it undermines our national security, and that's going to be a powerful argument in court. I think the government really has no choice but to appeal the case because we don't want a system where a single federal judge can invalidate an act of congress and the president simply say, well, that's it, we're not going to seek to appeal that. 
And here is the crux of the argument.

Imagine, Rachel, three years down the road if someone is challenging the health care, individual mandate or the minimum coverage requirements and there's a Republican president in the White House and they find one federal district judge who holds that it's unconstitutional. I don't think the Supreme Court would agree with that, not close. But suppose one district court held it unconstitutional.

You don't want a situation where they say, we're just not going to appeal... 
 ...But they are going to appeal. And they are going to tell the court that in our view it's unconstitutional because it's harmful to the military.

Watch the whole, enlightening interview here.

Can we now stop all the outrage about the evil Obama administration secretly not wanting DADT to go away? Can we let this play out for the final two or three months? It's been in place for 16 years, and I know it's easy for me to say, "hold your horses and let this play out" because it doesn't affect me, but for god's sake, if this is done correctly, there is no way it's going to come back. And ultimately, isn't that what we want?

No comments: