Justice Department Appeals Ban on DADT Enforcement

On Thursday, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an appeal of the October 12 order that bans the US military from enforcing the so-called “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy. US District Court Judge Virginia Phillips’ ruling states that DADT is unconstitutional and orders the military to immediately drop any pending investigations or proceedings related to the policy. However, the Justice Department alleges that the injunction would interfere with an ongoing Pentagon study of the potential effects of a DADT repeal, according to the Washington Post. The Justice Department appeal requested that Judge Phillips put a stay on her order, stating that any immediate shift in policy would be “enormously disruptive and time-consuming, particularly at a time when this nation is involved in combat operations overseas,” reports the Associated Press. The DOJ instead encouraged the courts to wait until the extensive Pentagon survey is presented to President Obama in December. The DOJ has stated it will also appeal the ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, according to the Washington Post. Currently, the Department of Defense is enforcing the injunction. President Obama has repeatedly emphasized his opposition to DADT. The Associated Press reports that Obama said on Thursday, “this policy will end and it will end on my watch.” However, he recognizes the need for a specific legal process to repeal the policy, stating, “I can’t simply ignore laws that are out there. I have got to work to make sure that they are changed.” The House of Representatives voted in May to repeal the law after the completion of the Pentagon review. The Senate, however, has failed to vote on the repeal due to a Republican filibuster, according to the Associated Press. DADT was instituted by former President Bill Clinton in 1993 and prohibits the military from inquiring about a service member’s sexual orientation, and also calls for the discharge of anyone who acknowledges being lesbian or gay. Thus far, the policy has led to the expulsion of more than 13,000 troops.


Washington Post 10/14/10, 10/18/2010; Associated Press 10/15/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 9/10/10, 10/13/10

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