DADT is officially gone. Obama will actually have to choose to resurrect the now-dead policy.

Posted on 13 Oct 2010 at 4:44am

“Right now, as of this moment, there is, effectively, no DADT policy in effect.” – Richard Socarides, New York attorney and former Clinton White House adviser on gay rights

This is a rather fine, but important distinction, I think.

A federal judge killed DADT today. Her ruling says the government has to immediately stop the investigations, the discharges, everything. Immediately. That means no one in the government is permitted to do anything related to enforcing DADT. It’s gone.

The injunction goes into effect immediately, said Dan Woods, the attorney who represented the Log Cabin Republicans, the gay rights group that filed the lawsuit in 2004 to stop the ban’s enforcement.

“Don’t ask, don’t tell, as of today at least, is done, and the government is going to have to do something now to resurrect it,” Woods said. “This is an extremely significant, historic decision. Once and for all, this failed policy is stopped. Fortunately now we hope all Americans who wish to serve their country can.”

The only way for DADT to come back is for President Obama to resurrect the policy by asking the court for a “stay pending appeal” – i.e., to stay the enforcment of the district court judge’s order pending appeal, and then appealing the case. Unless and until Obama resurrects DADT, it’s dead. So the stakes are actually higher for the President on this one. DADT is gone. He now has to decide whether he wants to personally bring it back.




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