BREAKING: Ninth Circuit Court Stays Injunction Against Enforcing DADT

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the DOJ’s emergency request for a temporary stay on Judge Virginia Phillips’ order to stop enforcing DADT. Via Chris Geidner at Metro Weekly, here’s the brief ruling.

This court has received appellant’s emergency motion to stay the district court’s October 12, 2010 order pending appeal. The order is stayed temporarily in order to provide this court with an opportunity to consider fully the issues presented. Appellee may file an opposition to the motion for a stay pending appeal by October 25, 2010. To expedite consideration of the motion, no reply shall be filed.

What this may mean (if anything) for Dan Choi, I have no idea.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

It’s been 24 hours since DOD has stopped enforcing DADT, and the sky hasn’t fallen

It’s funny how it’s been a full day since DADT stopped being the law of the land, and all the horrible things that Defense Secretary Gates warned AP about today haven’t happened.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday that abruptly ending the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as a federal judge has ordered would have enormous consequences.

“I feel strongly this is an action that needs to be taken by the Congress and that it is an action that requires careful preparation, and a lot of training,” said Gates. “It has enormous consequences for our troops.”

The defense secretary said that besides the changes in training, regulations will need revisions and changes may be necessary to benefits and Defense Department buildings.

Enormous consequences. Consequences that haven’t happened since DADT was lifted.

There’s another thing worth mentioning. The probable reason the judge ordered DADT lifted immediately, without any kind of delayed implementation, is because the administration screwed up. Rather than tell the judge that they weren’t planning to appeal, and that they would appreciate a reasonable period of time to implement the demise of DADT, the Obama administration (likely under pressure from Gates) stuck to their guns and told the judge to stay implementation of her decision pending appeal. The judge basically told them to stuff it, and lifted the ban immediately.

So when the administration tells you in the next few days that it was impossible to accept the judge’s order because it would have lifted DADT immediately, and that would have “enormous consequences,” don’t believe them. The only reason the judge lifted the ban immediately is because the administration refused to ask for an “orderly” demise of the anti-gay policy. They can’t now use their own inaction as justification for reinstating the policy.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

BREAKING: Fed judge orders Obama Defense Department to stop enforcing DADT

UPDATE: Read between these lines – @KerryEleveld quoting Robert Gibbs:

“Obviously, there have been a number of court cases that have ruled in favor of plaintiffs in this case and the president will continue to work as hard he can to change the law that he believes is fundamentally unfair.”

Note from Louise: More press releases coming in (4pm EDT) and will be put up below the fold.

The fierce advocate finds himself painted into a LGBT equality corner three weeks before midterms by a federal judge. (The Advocate):

In a Tuesday ruling, U.S. district judge Virginia A. Phillips ordered the Defense Department to “immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding” related to “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

In her order Phillips did not specify when the injunction would become effective. Justice Department attorneys are expected to appeal the injunction to the U.S. court of appeals for the ninth circuit.



The ruling:

So what’s it going to be, Mr. President, Mr. Commander-in-Chief? Is the gay community’s equality a political football on this issue or is removing a policy banning gays and lesbians from serving in the military going to happen on your watch, on your authority now?

The President, who is himself a constitutional scholar, has been handed the golden opportunity to end DADT once and for all. A federal judge has now ruled that the gay ban is unconstitutional, and he has ordered the federal government to stop the discharges immediately. The President now has the power – given to him by a federal judge – to do the right thing, to do what he promised, to side with the civil rights community. All he has to do is not appeal, and DADT is over.

It’s a no-brainer. Even for this administration that is loathe to do anything bold, loathe to be seen as responsible for anything even slightly “controversial.” Well, now they have their out. It’s the judge’s fault. President Obama can simply choose not to appeal the case, to respect the judge’s decision, and DADT is over. It’s history.

Or the President can direct his Department of Justice to oppose the judge’s order, to appeal the case, and to defend DADT – to defend bigotry, to go down in history on the same side as those who chose to defend discrimination against another class of Americans earlier in the 20th century.

Reactions…

SU:

“This order from Judge Phillips is another historic and courageous step in the right direction, a step that Congress has been noticeably slow in taking,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the sole named veteran plaintiff in the case along with the Log Cabin Republicans. “While this is certainly news to be celebrated, we would also advise caution in advance of a potential stay from the Ninth Circuit. If the appellate court wishes to put itself on the right side of history, however, it will allow this sound and long-over due decision to remain in effect.”

The case that won the injunction, Log Cabin Republicans vs. United States of America, was originally filed in 2004. Just last month, and after a two-week trial in July, Judge Phillips issued her final ruling in the case, finding that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law was unconstitutional on first and fifth amendment grounds. She also indicated her intent to issue an injunction barring further discharges in light of that finding. A copy of the injunction can be found at www.ServicemembersUnited.org/injunction.

LCR:

Christian Berle, acting Executive Director of Log Cabin Republicans

“After finding in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ violates servicemembers First and Fifth Amendment rights, a world-wide injunction was the only reasonable solution.  These soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines sacrifice so much in defense of our nation and our Constitution.  It is imperative that their constitutional freedoms be protected as well.  This decision is also a victory for all who support a strong national defense.  No longer will our military be compelled to discharge servicemembers with valuable skills and experience because of an archaic policy mandating irrational discrimination.  The United States is stronger because of this injunction, and Log Cabin Republicans is proud to have brought the case that made it possible.”

Dan Woods, White & Case partner who is representing Log Cabin Republicans

“We are extremely pleased with Judge Phillips’s decision granting an immediate and permanent injunction barring the US military from carrying out its ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.  The order represents a complete and total victory for Log Cabin Republicans and reaffirms the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians in the military who are fighting and dying for our country.”

HRC:


HRC Statement on Injunction Barring DADT Enforcement

Solmonese: “The administration should comply with her order and stop enforcing this unconstitutional, unconscionable law that forces brave lesbian and gay Americans to serve in silence”

WASHINGTON - Today, federal district judge Virginia Phillips, following on her July decision striking down the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law in a case brought by the Log Cabin Republicans, ordered the Department of Defense to immediately cease enforcement of the statute barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the Armed Forces.  Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese issued the following statement:


“The administration should comply with her order and stop enforcing this unconstitutional, unconscionable law that forces brave lesbian and gay Americans to serve in silence. The President has said this law harms our national security and we believe it would be a mistake to appeal the decision.  Each additional day that this unjust law remains in force is one more day the federal government is complicit in discrimination.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

                    # # #

SLDN:



SLDN Statement on U.S. District Court Order to Suspend Investigations, Discharges Under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”




WASHINGTON, D.C.
– Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), issued a statement today after U.S. district judge Virginia A. Phillips ordered the Defense Department to “immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding” related to DADT.

Statement by SLDN Legal Director Aaron Tax:

“We applaud Judge Phillips for putting an immediate stop to all investigations and discharges under this unconstitutional law.  As explained by the judge, this order applies across the military.  This order bars the Department of Defense from enforcing or applying the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law against any person under its command.  We have clients under investigation and facing discharge right now.  We’ll be monitoring each case over the coming days.  This order will likely be appealed by the Justice Department and brought to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit where her decision may well be reversed.  The law still has a chance of being repealed in the lame duck session of Congress.  Service members must proceed safely and should not come out at this time.  Anyone in the armed forces with questions or concerns should call our hotline.”

“Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (www.sldn.org) is a national, non-profit legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” A journalists’ guide is available here.

                 30

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

DOJ to Judge: Keep Enforcing DADT

DADT SAILORS X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMThe Department of Justice issued a request Thursday to a U.S. district
court judge to keep enforcing the military’s ban on gay and
lesbian service members, challenging a request to stop its enforcement.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

DOJ To Judge: Keep Enforcing DADT

In response to the federal court ruling that DADT is unconstitutional, late this afternoon the Department of Justice filed a brief in support of keep the ban on openly gay servicemembers. Via Advocate:

In a 14-page brief, Justice Department attorneys argued that a permanent injunction against enforcing the 17-year-old law — one supported by Log Cabin Republicans, which successfully challenged DADT in federal court and has argued for an immediate halt of DADT enforcement throughout the armed forces — would be “untenable.” “[A]ny injunction in this case must be limited to plaintiff LCR and the claims it asserts on behalf of its members – and cannot extend to non-parties – plaintiff’s requested world-wide injunction of the statute fails as a threshold matter,” assistant U.S. attorney Paul Freeborne wrote.

Among the government’s arguments, Freeborne wrote that an injunction would preclude the government both from litigating other legal challenges to DADT and considering the terms of a stay barring discharges of gay and lesbian service members. An immediate halt of discharges would jeopardize successful implementation of repeal, by interfering with the “ability of the Department of Defense to develop necessary policies, regulations, and training and guidance to accommodate a change in the DADT law and policy,” the government argues.

The White House has issued the following statement.

Today, the Department of Justice made a filing in a legal challenge to the Don’t Ask, Don’t tell (DADT) policy, as it traditionally does when acts of Congress are challenged. This filing in no way diminishes the President’s firm commitment to achieve a legislative repeal of DADT — indeed, it clearly shows why Congress must act to end this misguided policy. The President was disappointed earlier this week when a majority of the Senate was willing to proceed with National Defense Authorization Act, but political posturing created a 60 vote threshold. The President spoke out against DADT in his first State of the Union Address, and the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs have both testified in support of repeal. And the Department of Defense continues to work on a plan on how to implement repeal. The President, along with his Administration, will continue to work with the Senate Leadership to achieve a legislative repeal of DADT as outlined in the NDAA this fall.

Here’s the DOJ’s full brief.
DOJ DADT Injunction

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

Watch: Crist Says Florida Will Stop Enforcing Gay Adoption Ban

Crist

Following the appeals court ruling earlier today which upheld an earlier ruling declaring it unconstitutional, Florida Governor Charlie Crist said the state would stop enforcing the 33-year-old ban ban on gay adoption.

The Miami Herald reports:

"Crist lauded the court ruling as “great'' and told reporters at a 2:30 news conference he would immediately stop enforcing the ban. Crist said he wanted to confer with the adoptive father at the center of the case before deciding whether to appeal. He said, however, that he believes the state Supreme Court wouldn't overturn the court rulings."

Watch Crist speak with reporters, AFTER THE JUMP



Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright