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Appeals Court Stalls DADT Injunction

In San Francisco on Wednesday, a three-judge panel on the Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, issued a one-page order allowing the military to continue to enforce it’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy.  The order was in response to an emergency request by the Obama administration, and came as the Appeals Court contemplates a longer stay of the injunction banning DADT enforcement, issued by Judge Virginia A. Phillips in the Central District Court of California earlier this month.  Dan Woods, lawyer for the Log Cabin Republicans, an advocacy group that brought the initial claim, remains confident that DADT will ultimately be repealed, and called the order a “minor setback.”

As detailed by this blog last week, many have criticized the Obama administration’s handling of the issue and have called for the government to simply allow the policy to die in the wake of Judge Phillips’ initial ruling.  However, in an opinion piece published in the New York Times on Wednesday, Walter Delligner, head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel from 1993-1996, advocated a different approach.  Instead of merely letting the policy die, Delligner instead argued that a more effective and proactive approach would be for the Department of Justice to argue against the Phillips ruling while simultaneously letting the Appellate Court know that the administration believed DADT was unconstitutional.  In other words, “the Justice Department would take the formal steps necessary to defend the law, but it would also make substantive arguments about why the law should be struck down.”

To read more, please go to the New York Times.


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