Federal Judge Orders Immediate Suspension of Dont Ask, Don’t Tell

October 12, 2010

(ChattahBox US News)—- The odious and discriminatory policy of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is now subject to a federal court injunction ordering the U.S. and the Department of Defense to immediately stop enforcement of the military policy. U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips, ruled last month that the DADT policy was not only unconstitutional, but it had a “direct and deleterious effect’’ on the military.

As ChattahBox previously reported, the Justice Department appealed Judge Phillips’ ruling, arguing that an injunction would disrupt the nation’s armed forces during a time of two wars. The federal government further argued that the Pentagon, the White House and Congress “are actively examining” the DADT issue, for an eventual repeal.

But Phillips was not persuaded by the government’s arguments, ordering an immediate ban on the policy that has resulted in thousands of qualified men and women being booted from the service, because of their sexual orientation.

“Defendants United States of America and the Secretary of Defense immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding, that may have been commenced under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Act, or pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 654 or its implementing regulations, on or prior to the date of this Judgment,” wrote Judge Phillips.

The Justice Department has 60 days to appeal the ruling, but has not yet decided if it would do so. Justice Department spokesperson Tracy Shmaler, said the department is “reviewing the ruling.”

It’s unlikely the obstructionist Republicans would allow a vote in the senate to repeal DADT. Last month, the entire Republican caucus filibustered a defense appropriations bill that included a measure to repeal “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Not appealing Judge Phillip’s injunction would certainly be the path of least resistance in doing away with DADT, finally.


6 Responses to “Federal Judge Orders Immediate Suspension of Dont Ask, Don’t Tell”

  1. Jim Price on October 12th, 2010 6:55 pm

    What a disgraceful decision. Our Military has it’s own code of conduct. It is like no other living and family. For this District Court Judge Phillips to override the ban that our military has had for years is disgusting and disgraceful. You tell me that One ill-informed and bias Judge can do away with our Military code of conduct. I thank God that I am no longer in the Military. This is truly a disgrace and a shame to this great Country we serve. This is going to endanger and erode the morals, health, and security, especially in a time of war.

    You had better get ready for a hard time or you had better put all homosexuals in a separate barracks.

  2. 4 Common Sense on October 12th, 2010 6:58 pm

    How disgraceful. Many of you have no idea what it takes to be on the fromt lines and have to fight for your life. This District Judge gets to do away with the military code of conduct?

  3. Lars Hekland on October 12th, 2010 7:23 pm

    I commend the judge in making a just decision. Time for the US to follow its allies and not deny service to country based solely on sexual orientation. Great Britain has had open service for a decade now with no effect on military performance other than a positive one.

  4. Old Man Dotes on October 12th, 2010 7:30 pm

    @Jim Price & @4 Common Sense: You speak like fat, lazy, pampered civilians. I spent 23 years in the US Army, and the only thing that *EVER* mattered to me or my soldiers is “does he have my back?” The only people who care if a solider is gay or straight are the Southern Baptist right-wing bigots, the same ones currently cowering under their beds because our Commander-in-Chief is half Black.

    Shame on you for calling yourself an American. You don’t uphold the Constitution; you are a disgrace to this nation.

  5. Brett on October 12th, 2010 11:10 pm

    Regardless of whether one desires to see DADT abandoned as military policy or not, this development is troubling.

    I am no legal expert but I seriously doubt Judge Phillips has the jurisdiction to rule on a purely military matter founded on the UCMJ. I am unsure whether a military regulation is to be treated in civilian courts as a law and regardless, the Constitution grants to Congress alone the authority to govern the armed forced of the United States. The UCMJ (as enacted by Congress) has its own judicial and appellate bodies separate from the federal judiciary except for appeals to the Supreme Court of the United States under very restricted conditions. The UCMJ applies not merely to active duty and current reservists but to retirees as well. While I am unsure as to the applicability of the UCMJ to discharged non-retirees, the UCMJ provides the framework for ultimate resolution and does not feature United States District Courts or Courts of Civil Appeals. Congress could grant such authority to the lower federal courts but to date I do not believe they have done so and the Constitution provides that Congress dictate judicial jurisdiction. Further, I don’t think Judge Phillips can issue a binding order on the entire US Military as here authority is limited to her district alone.

    Regardless of ones position on DADT, the ruling should be appealed directly to the SCOTUS on grounds of lack of jurisdiction. Our military serves a civilian government but civilian courts should not not be allowed jurisdiction over military policy or the interpretation of military regulations. Congress has provided a constitutionally valid UCMJ for such purposes and if there is a question as to the constitutionality of any such regs, it lies with either the United States Court of Military Appeals or the Supreme Court of the United States. Allowing this ruling to stand appears to establish a precedent for unwarranted civilian judicial intervention into military law.

    The nation will be better served to address the issue of DADT and the role of homosexuals in the military through legislative channels rather than in courts of questionable jurisdiction.

  6. LET THEM SERVE ALREADY on October 13th, 2010 1:16 pm

    I am straight first of all, and I PROUDLY serve alongside Army buddies of mine that I know are homosexual, and I am sick to death of watching them have to hide who they really are just so they can serve. They sign away their lives when they join, just like the rest of us, so why can’t they have an equal right to not have to live in fear while they serve? My buddies would risk their lives for me and I for them, what on Earth does the sex of the person they’ve got waiting back at home matter??! That’s their own life, it doesn’t affect you or the way they serve.
    This is 2010 not 1910, get with the times and GROW UP. It’s sad to see how many homophobes there are out there, just sickening really.

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