July 12, 2011 | by Chris Johnson
Obama ‘likely’ to appeal ‘Don’t Ask’ injunction: source

The Obama administration is “likely” to appeal an injunction barring the enforcement of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a source familiar with the case.

The source, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, said while an appeal is anticipated, the timing for when it would be announced remains unclear.

“DOJ is likely going to SCOTUS to appeal the injunction again,” the source said. “We don’t know when, but that’s the sense we’re getting.”

Last week, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstituted an injunction barring the U.S. government from enforcing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The administration has the option of appealing the order to the full Ninth Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court.

In November, the Supreme Court previously allowed to stand a stay on the injunction — instituted by U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips — as the Ninth Circuit considered the litigation. Now that the Ninth Circuit has lifted this stay on its own accord, the U.S. government can again appeal the injunction to the high court.

Additionally, on Monday, the Ninth Circuit ordered the U.S. government to spell out whether it will continue to defend “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in court or refrain from litigating on behalf of the anti-gay law in the wake of its determination that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to the Washington Blade’s request for comment on whether the administration has made any plans to appeal the injunction or how the government will respond to the order on Monday.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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