As expected, a federal district judge in California on Tuesday denied the government’s request to delay her injunction from last week halting the military’s enforcement of “don’t ask don’t tell.”
The Associated Press reports:
U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips issued her ruling Tuesday after saying the government had not proven that her order would harm troops or impede efforts to implement new military regulations to deal with openly gay troops.
Justice Department officials say the Obama administration will appeal to the appellate court in San Francisco.
The military has promised to abide by her order as long as it remains in place.
Phillips declared the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy unconstitutional Sept. 9. Under the 1993 law, the military cannot inquire into service members’ sexual orientation and punish them for it as long as they keep it to themselves.
Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, issued the following statement in response to Phillips decision Tuesday to deny the government’s request:
“By the judge keeping the injunction in place, lesbian and gay service members are protected another day, but the uncertainty has not gone away. The Department of Justice will immediately ask the 9th Circuit to stay the injunction. We’re talking about the careers of patriots, people who are on the frontlines serving our country – some of whom are highly decorated – and the court needs to keep the injunction in place. As the DOJ fights to keep this unconstitutional and oppressive law, we are monitoring active-duty clients’ cases and fielding calls every day to our hotline. During this interim period of uncertainty, service members must not come out. Our service members need finality. Given the uncertainty in the courts, we urge the Senate to act swiftly next month on repeal when they return to Washington.”
Below is the full text of Phillips’ ruling: