The Department of Justice has requested a short-term emergency stay from the 9th Circuit Court, which last week lifted its stay of an injunction halting enforcement of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ law barring gay and lesbian military personnel from open service.
Late last year, in the Log Cabin Republicans v. USA case, Judge Virginia Phillips found the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law and policy unconstitutional, and ordered the military to cease enforcing the law by placing an injunction on the policy. The 9th Cir. later placed a stay on the injunction as the Obama Department of Justice continued to appeal the case. Last week the 9th Cir. agreed with Log Cabin lawyers from the law firm White & Case that there was no need to continue enforcing the DADT policy and that the injunction on the policy should be put back in place.
The move comes as the Pentagon moves into the final stages of certifying the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask,’ passed in December and signed into law. Once the Pentagon, the Defense Secretary and President certify that the military is ready to implement repeal, the last steps in the process of ending the law will follow a 60 day Congressional review period.
“This latest maneuver by the President continues a pattern of doublespeak that all Americans should find troubling. All this does is further confuse the situation for our men and women in uniform,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director, in a statement. “Let me be clear – the president is asking the court for the power to continue threatening servicemembers with investigation and discharge, and the right to turn away qualified Americans from military service for no reason other than their sexual orientation. Even if the administration never uses that power, it is still wrong, and the Ninth Circuit was clear that there is no justification for continuing the violation of servicemembers’ constitutional rights. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is an offense to American values that should have been gone long ago. It is shameful that a president who has taken credit for opposing the policy is taking extreme measures to keep it on life support.”
Cooper is a combat veteran and captain in the United States Army Reserve.
Read Log Cabin’s full press release here.