Supreme Court Will not Hear Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Case

The Supreme Court announced today that they will not hear a case that challenges the constitutionality of the federal government’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The suit alleged that the policy violates the rights to equal protection and due process as well protection under the first amendment, according to the ABA Journal. Former Army Captain James Pietrangelo II, who was dismissed from duty as a result of don’t ask, don’t tell, is the only plaintiff of 12 who appealed the case to the Supreme Court, reported the Associated Press.

The case, Pietrangelo v. Gates, was thrown out by the 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston last year. The Circuit Court’s ruling (PDF) concluded that “Although the wisdom behind the statute at issue here may be questioned by some, in light of the special deference we grant Congressional decision-making in this area we conclude that the challenges must be dismissed.”

Don’t ask, don’t tell was instituted by former President Bill Clinton in 1993 and bans gay and lesbian individuals from openly serving in the military. It prohibits the military from inquiring about a service member’s sexual orientation, but also calls for the discharge of anyone who acknowledges being gay or who is known to engage in homosexual activity.


Feminist Daily Newswire 3/3/09; ABA Journal 6/10/08; US First Circuit of Appeals 6/9/08; Associated Press 6/8/09

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