Judge Phillips: Nah, I Don’t Think I Want To Hold Off On My DADT Ruling, Thanks

It's tentative, and it doesn't mean gay soldiers should be coming out anytime soon, but Judge Virginia Phillips said today she's not inclined to grant the Justice Department's request for a stay in her issuing an immediate injunction to Don't Ask Don't Tell, which last week killed the law (or threw its status into turmoil, whichever interpretation you prefer). A formal ruling is expected.

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—  John Wright

SHOCK: Air Force Internal Memo Says Pentagon Will ‘Abide By’ DADT Ruling, Halt Dismissals Immediately

In an internal memo the Air Force's Lieutenant General Richard C. Harding today instructed its JAG officers that until DoJ decides whether to appeal the DADT ruling, they must abide by the court injunction that says the military must move "immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding." It appears the instruction isn't limited to the Air Force, but the entire Department of Defense. Developing …


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—  John Wright

DOJ Expected to Appeal DADT Ruling

DONT ASK DONT TELL DADT 201007 X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMThe Obama administration is expected to appeal a ruling from a federal judge in California that barred the enforcement of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

With DoJ Almost Certainly Appealing DADT Ruling, Nobody Knows If Obama Thinks The Law Is Unconstitutional


Expect the Justice Department to appeal U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Philips's worldwide injunction of Don't Ask Don't Tell, if "senior administration officials" are to be believed. With 60 days to file an appeal Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America, the government won't likely wait until the last minute, with an appeal filing coming as early as this week. As expected. But isn't President Obama all torn up about it?


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—  John Wright

SU and SLDN on today’s DADT ruling

The Servicemember groups weigh in.

Alex Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United, who played a key role in the Log Cabin case:

“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.”

SLDN’s 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.”


—  John Wright

House Members Ask Administration Not to Appeal DADT Ruling

39 members of the House of Representatives wrote a letter [pdf] this week to President Obama calling on him not to appeal the recent decision calling the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law unconstitutional.  The group was led by openly gay Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO).

The call echos our continuing efforts to end the ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual service members and our letter to Attorney General Eric Holder [pdf] calling on him not to appeal the case. Additionally, HRC has called on our members and supporters to petition Holder to decline to appeal the case.  Add your name now!

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

DOJ responds to LCR in DADT case, wants to strictly restrict ruling

Just got the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) response to the Log Cabin Republican’s proposed injunction.

We’ll have more, but a quick read shows that DOJ wants to limit the injunction to the “Plaintiff and Its Members.” It actually sounds like DOJ wants to out gay servicemembers, “without the names of LCR’s members, defendants would have no way of knowing whether a particular servicemember who is subject to the actions set forth is in fact a bona fide LCR member.”

The DOJ also objects because “Plaintiff’s Proposed Injunction Would Foreclose the United States from Litigating the Constitutionality of DADT in Other Courts.” Yes, DOJ wants to keep arguing that DADT is constitutional. And, DOJ wants to be able to move for a stay.

Finally, the DOJ seems awfully concerned that if LCR wins this case, then the Obama administration will no longer be able to find that gay servicemembers hurt morale and cohesion. Why is the Obama administration so concerned about losing the “right” to discriminate against gay and lesbian servicemembers? This lead reader BeccaM to make the following observation:

They’re saying you can only bring a case if you’re in the military and out yourself, then you can begin the years-long process of seeking injunctive relief, but in the meantime they’ll throw your ass out for being gay. Which then makes you ineligible to bring a case because you’re not in the military anymore and therefore lack standing.

This is not the brief of a party that wants to find a way out of this mess. The Obama administration is aggressively defending DADT when the Obama administration doesn’t have to do this. See here, here and here.

DADT: DOJ response to LCR’s proposed injunction


—  John Wright

Watch: Rachel Maddow Trashes Log Cabin, Talks DADT Ruling Appeal


Rachel Maddow discusses the honors bestowed on Senators John Cornyn and Pete Sessions by the Log Cabin Republicans, and then speaks with The Advocate's Kerry Eleveld about what's expected in the LCR DADT case from Obama's Justice Department today.


Also, more on the Cornyn/Sessions honors here.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


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—  John Wright

Maj. Almy Talks DADT Ruling With Maddow

maddow almyMaj. Mike Almy, who testified in July about his discharge from the Air
Force in the federal trial challenging “don’t ask, don’t tell,”  discusses
the landmark ruling during a Friday appearance on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

Fed DADT ruling ignored at Obama presser; taken no questions from LGBT media since election

How can front-page news like the federal court ruling that DADT is unconstitutional be completely ignored when the President held a conference in its wake? Easy, apparently, because no LGBT reporter was called on, and the rest of the press corps was asleep or willing to give the President at pass, and not take what would place Obama in a tough position for an answer.

Mediate noticed the omission and the political fallout and questions about this administration’s clear signal that it does not want any national attention brought to its treatment of LGBT media and issues.

While there are plenty of issues facing the White House, the lack of questions about DADT comes as some are noting that the Obama administration has ignored the gay and lesbian press generally and has avoided answering questions about DADT, same-sex marriage, and an employment non-discrimination bill that would protect employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

In addition to no questions about the DADT ruling from last night, this was the first press conference since a court in California struck down California’s ban on same-sex marriage based on constitutional grounds.

Kerry Eleveld, the Washington correspondent for The Advocate, tweeted after the press conference:

POTUS presser ending, no #dadt questions; Obama has yet to take a single question from #lgbt press since being elected.

Eleveld is the only full-time member of the White House press corps representing an LGBT press outfit and she often asks questions of Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, but she’s never gotten a question to Obama. Obama has yet to offer an interview with the LGBT press during his administration.

Other constituency media were called on — black and Latino outlets, as well as Haaretz (Middle East issues) and AURN (poverty)– indicates those issues are safe to answer, yet DADT is a top story on air and in print is ignored.

That underscores this White House’s disdain for engaging LGBT issues, in this case a national security issue involving the discharge of otherwise trained and qualified individuals because of their sexual orientation.

And Kerry Eleveld’s point that the President hasn’t taken a question or sat down for an interview since he was elected is damning, given he’s done so for every other constituency in the fold. Mediaite references the WH meeting that PHB attended with other LGBT outlets not long ago, as “one of a kind.” At that meeting I actually told Barnes about the fact that the President has avoided LGBT media and she acted surprised.

No interview opportunity has arisen since that meeting. They can’t feign ignorance. We cannot ignore that we are political pariahs to this White House, but we aren’t untouchables when they come knocking at the gAyTM. If the WH cannot even stand a question about DADT repeal or unconstitutionality – and repeal has broad public support – we’re up sh*ts creek for the DOMA cases winding their way toward his DOJ.

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—  John Wright