Judge Ends Don't Ask Don't Tell
October 12, 2010 1:23 PM   Subscribe

A federal judge has issued a worldwide injunction on the enforcement of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, "ending the military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops."

The Associated Press reports:
U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say the department is under no legal obligation to do so and could let Phillips' ruling stand.

[U.S. District Judge Virginia] Phillips declared the law unconstitutional after a two-week nonjury trial in federal court in Riverside. She said the Log Cabin Republicans "established at trial that the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Act irreparably injures servicemembers by infringing their fundamental rights."

She said the policy violates due process rights, freedom of speech and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances guaranteed by the First Amendment.

"Furthermore, there is no adequate remedy at law to prevent the continued violation of servicemembers' rights or to compensate them for violation of their rights," Phillips said. . . .

"The order represents a complete and total victory for the Log Cabin Republicans and reaffirms the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians in the military who are fighting and dying for our country," said Dan Woods, an attorney for the Log Cabin group.

Government attorneys objected, saying such an abrupt change might harm military operations in a time of war. They had asked Phillips to limit her ruling to the members of the Log Cabin Republicans, a 19,000-member group that includes current and former military service members. . . .

Phillips [said] the law doesn't help military readiness and instead has a "direct and deleterious effect" on the armed services by hurting recruiting during wartime and requiring the discharge of service members with critical skills and training.

Legal experts say the Obama administration could choose to not appeal her ruling to end the ban — but Department of Justice attorneys are not likely to stay mum since Obama has made it clear he wants Congress to repeal the policy. . . .

The "don't ask, don't tell" policy prohibits the military from asking about the sexual orientation of service members but bans those who are openly gay. Under the 1993 policy, service men and women who acknowledge being gay or are discovered engaging in homosexual activity, even in the privacy of their own homes off base, are subject to discharge.
posted by John Cohen (194 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Kudos to the Log Cabin Republicans for pursuing this case and winning the trial. To quote their attorney:

"The order represents a complete and total victory for the Log Cabin Republicans and reaffirms the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians in the military who are fighting and dying for our country," said Dan Woods, an attorney for the Log Cabin group.

posted by bearwife at 1:26 PM on October 12, 2010 [10 favorites]


A "worldwide" injunction? I know that it comes from the article, but what does that even mean and why is it different than just an "injunction"? Very odd phrase.
posted by seventyfour at 1:26 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't appeal.
posted by brain_drain at 1:26 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Obama has made it clear he wants Congress to repeal the policy. . . .

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'd be more sympathetic to that argument if there was any indication that Congress is going to have the capacity to get anything done in the near future. Having the people's elected representatives end a discriminatory program is a very nice gesture, but if they refuse to do so it's still a discriminatory program that needs to end.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 1:26 PM on October 12, 2010 [14 favorites]


A "worldwide" injunction? I know that it comes from the article, but what does that even mean and why is it different than just an "injunction"? Very odd phrase.

From the article:
Government attorneys . . . had asked Phillips to limit her ruling to the members of the Log Cabin Republicans, a 19,000-member group that includes current and former military service members.
posted by John Cohen at 1:27 PM on October 12, 2010


It's simultaneously clever and pathetic that pushing this was left to the Log Cabin Republicans.
posted by darth_tedious at 1:30 PM on October 12, 2010 [9 favorites]


They had asked Phillips to limit her ruling to the members of the Log Cabin Republicans

How does that make any kind of sense from a legal or any other standpoint? Don't Ask Don't Tell (that you're a gay Democrat)?
posted by ook at 1:31 PM on October 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


> Government attorneys objected, saying such an abrupt change might harm military operations in a time of war.

These days, this is the ultimate Catch-22. "We'll allow gays into the military when the war ends. When will the war end? Never!"
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:31 PM on October 12, 2010 [14 favorites]


They had asked Phillips to limit her ruling to the members of the Log Cabin Republicans, a 19,000-member group that includes current and former military service members. . . .

Maybe I'm not reading this right, but were they actually asking that the ruling only apply to them? That any non-LCR would still be subject to DADT? Because if so, that seems to be a perfect lead into a "fuck you, got mine" situation and they'd be complete assholes for trying to encourage it.
posted by quin at 1:32 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say the department is under no legal obligation to do so and could let Phillips' ruling stand.

Sixty days takes you well out past the November elections.

So, who's decided not to vote for their local Democratic congressmen in the upcoming races because you're unhappy with Obama's work to date? Here's another reason to buck up, so to speak, and try to keep a (newly emboldened) Republican offense on the sidelines in this little game.

Sometimes, the game is all about clock-management...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:32 PM on October 12, 2010 [9 favorites]


"The order represents a complete and total victory for the Log Cabin Republicans..."

And another opportunity pissed away by Democrats.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:33 PM on October 12, 2010 [10 favorites]


A "worldwide" injunction? I know that it comes from the article, but what does that even mean

Maybe that it would impact all US troops, no matter where they're stationed in the world?

Seriously, I got nothin'.
posted by quin at 1:34 PM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Quin, it was Obama's Justice Department that asked for the ruling only to apply to LCR members.

Yeah.
posted by General Tonic at 1:34 PM on October 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


A "worldwide" injunction?

Yes, in fact a large group of Chileans are planning to come out today.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:34 PM on October 12, 2010 [24 favorites]


Maybe I'm not reading this right, but were they actually asking that the ruling only apply to them?

You're not reading it right. The "they" in the sentence you quote refers to "government attorneys".
posted by mr_roboto at 1:34 PM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


A Republican group did something that the Democrat-led Congress and Whitehouse were unwilling to do, despite overwhelming popularity among voters.

This is why the Democrats will not even be ostensibly in charge for much longer.

Who's betting that the administration appeals, three weeks before the midterms?
posted by dirigibleman at 1:35 PM on October 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


Who's betting that the administration appeals, three weeks before the midterms?

What kind of odds will you give me?
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 1:37 PM on October 12, 2010


Only Nixon can go to China.
posted by wuwei at 1:38 PM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


World-wide because we have bases in some 141 countries, not county those that the govt does not list or cite, and in some instances more than one in a country--think Roman Empire writ large.

Obama could let the 60 days pass and have what he has said he wanted...or contest it.

What happened to the votes our military were to take to see what they wanted? silly idea that was intended to stand at ease and do nothing.
posted by Postroad at 1:38 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who's betting that the administration appeals, three weeks before the midterms?

I am, though I really hope it has the sense not to.

I really dislike the way the Obama administration is trying to paint a judicial challenge to DADT as some kind of failure to play fair, as opposed to going through Congress. It's completely ahistorical. Many of the most important reforms in the history of the US have been achieved through the courts. If California with a Republican governor can choose not to fight for its discriminatory laws the Democratic administration sure as hell ought to be able to muster the guts to do the same.
posted by enn at 1:39 PM on October 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


It's simultaneously clever and pathetic that pushing this was left to the Log Cabin Republicans

This, along with Ted Olson co-leading the AFER charge against marriage discrimination, makes me increasingly less sympathetic to the embarrassing punch-a-hippy-save-a-Democrat campaign that the left is waging.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:39 PM on October 12, 2010 [14 favorites]


Too bad this will do little/nothing to stop the abuse that suspected gay/lesbian troops endure while serving in the military.

It is definitely a step in the right direction though. Congratulations, America.
posted by sunshinesky at 1:40 PM on October 12, 2010


So Obama can either let the decision stand, and not wait for the report due in December, or he can wait for the report by appealing the judge's decision?

Sounds like he gets shit either way. Certainly, he'll get shit from all sides if he lets the judge's decision stand -- from conservatives, obviously, but also from some of his gay supporters who see that Obama was 'only' a passive instrument in that change they wanted.

I'm betting appeal, on some 'limited question' that will allow him to save some face, but which won't matter much at all in the larger public perception.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:40 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Previous and related FPP: Judge Rejects Military Policy Toward Gays.
posted by ericb at 1:40 PM on October 12, 2010


You could link to the decision instead of just the AP.

And maybe some reax from the plaintiffs?
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:40 PM on October 12, 2010


You know, if you'd asked me a few years ago if Obama getting elected would lead to DADT being repealed, I'd have probably said yes.

Would never have picked that it would be thanks to Republican lobbying though.

America, every time I think I understand a little about you...I get proved wrong.

(Would have been cooler if this had happened yesterday on National Coming Out Day, but what the hell, it's here now. I know someone who this affects, so good news for him).
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:42 PM on October 12, 2010


"I really dislike the way the Obama administration is trying to paint a judicial challenge to DADT as some kind of failure to play fair, as opposed to going through Congress. It's completely ahistorical. Many of the most important reforms in the history of the US have been achieved through the courts. If California with a Republican governor can choose not to fight for its discriminatory laws the Democratic administration sure as hell ought to be able to muster the guts to do the same."

Every executive likes the idea of the expansion of executive powers. "We, of course, will only use them for good."

Obama's no different on that score.
posted by klangklangston at 1:43 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


OK,so the word "worldwide" isn't in the order, "worldwide" was just the odd word choice of the reporter.
posted by seventyfour at 1:44 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


And I do have to wonder whether this will increase or decrease the amount of military-themed gay porn out there. Was it hotter when it was forbidden?
posted by klangklangston at 1:44 PM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


I really dislike the way the Obama administration is trying to paint a judicial challenge to DADT as some kind of failure to play fair, as opposed to going through Congress.

It's not like one precludes the other. The administration could let the injunction stand and still seek repeal of the law later.
posted by atrazine at 1:45 PM on October 12, 2010


This argues that the DoJ is not obligated to appeal, which surprises me.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:46 PM on October 12, 2010


Every executive likes the idea of the expansion of executive powers.

Dumping the politically difficult choices on Congress is not an expansion of executive powers.
posted by enn at 1:57 PM on October 12, 2010


They had asked Phillips to limit her ruling to the members of the Log Cabin Republicans

Would that not make the decision a bill of attainder? IANAL, just asking.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:59 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Kudos to the Log Cabin Republicans

You know, that's something that I've actually longed to hear every since I heard about the LCR back in high school.

I wasn't sure I'd get to hear it in my lifetime. Well done, gay (and gay supporting) Republicans.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:00 PM on October 12, 2010


The administration could let the injunction stand and still seek repeal of the law later.

I'll give you some great odds on that one.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:01 PM on October 12, 2010


About damn time.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 2:02 PM on October 12, 2010


Who's betting that the administration appeals, three weeks before the midterms?

He'll stall until December 1 when the Pentagon review is supposed to be released - hoping it will spare him the necessity.

But I wouldn't be surprised if the Pentagon report is "delayed". Then will come the appeal.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:06 PM on October 12, 2010


This great, but just to play... well, not Devil's Advocate, but to point it out - it's still against the military rules of conduct to be homosexual and be in the armed forces.

So, for someone who knows--now what?
posted by tzikeh at 2:07 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Obama has made it clear he wants Congress to repeal the policy. . . .
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'd be more sympathetic to that argument if there was any indication that Congress is going to have the capacity to get anything done in the near future.


And Obama is the Head of the Armed Forces.
He could have written an executive order.

Congress isn't the only one here.....
posted by rough ashlar at 2:07 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


> It's simultaneously clever and pathetic that pushing this was left to the Log Cabin Republicans.

> This, along with Ted Olson co-leading the AFER charge against marriage discrimination, makes me increasingly less sympathetic to the embarrassing punch-a-hippy-save-a-Democrat campaign that the left is waging.

Actually, on second thought, the "See? Even (Marginalized, Gay) Republicans Are Already Demanding This" bit is of no lasting strategic benefit.

So, really, not clever after all.

The Dems remain convinced that mindless difference-splitting satisfies Middle America... when in actuality, what reassures Middle America is aggressive, sustained We Are Right and They Are Your Enemies propaganda campaigns.
posted by darth_tedious at 2:08 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


"We'll allow gays into the military when the war ends. When will the war end? Never!"

Damn Congress and their not actually drafting Articles of War.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:10 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


How long before the Ninth Circuit steps in with a stay? Or the Supremes?
posted by rtha at 2:11 PM on October 12, 2010


This, along with Ted Olson co-leading the AFER charge against marriage discrimination, makes me increasingly less sympathetic to the embarrassing punch-a-hippy-save-a-Democrat campaign that the left is waging.

Wait... the fact that moderates are more successful achieving progressive policy objectives makes you less sympathetic to moderates? WTF
posted by thesmophoron at 2:15 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


How long before the Ninth Circuit steps in with a stay? Or the Supremes?

The hypothetical you're proposing is strictly impossible, by design.
posted by thesmophoron at 2:15 PM on October 12, 2010


To show you where the DoJ's head is at:

Today, the Department of Justice filed a notice of appeal in the case of Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, the challenge brought by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) to Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Representing seven married same-sex couples and three widowers, GLAD filed Gill in March 2009. The case was heard in May 2010 by U.S. District Court Joseph L. Tauro, who issued a decision finding DOMA Section 3 unconstitutional on July 8, 2010.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:16 PM on October 12, 2010


Wait... the fact that moderates are more successful achieving progressive policy objectives makes you less sympathetic to moderates? WTF

Sounds more like sympathy for people who get shit done.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:17 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


And Obama is the Head of the Armed Forces. He could have written an executive order.

No. There is no such thing as the "Head" of the armed forces. Obama is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, which means that he gets to make command decisions. Congress is charged with raising the armed forces, which means that Congress gets to make personnel decisions. "The Congress shall have power ... to raise and support armies ... [and] to provide and maintain a navy." U.S. Const., Art. I, sec. 8. There's this little thing called separation of powers, and it's pretty vital to American democracy. Maybe you should go learn something about it.
posted by thesmophoron at 2:20 PM on October 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


Sounds more like sympathy for people who get shit done.

History will note: A group of Republicans did more to advance LGBT rights than a Democratic President, Senate, and Congress combined.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:27 PM on October 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


What happened to the votes our military were to take to see what they wanted?

The military doesn't get to 'vote' on the issue. But, members were surveyed [PDF] (with a response rate of 27.5%), as were their spouses. The surveys have been contested as being highly-biased.

Let's see what other studies have found:
• 73 percent of military personnel are comfortable with lesbians and gays (Zogby International, 2006).

• Majorities of weekly churchgoers (60 percent), conservatives (58 percent), and Republicans (58 percent) now favor repeal of DADT (Gallup, 2009).

• 75 percent of Americans support gays serving openly - up from just 44 percent in 1993 (ABC News/Washington Post, 2008).

• In 1993, RAND Corp. concluded that openly gay people in the U.S. military do not negatively impact unit cohesion, morale, good order or military readiness. An update of this study should be completed in the next 90 days.

• Several other military-commissioned and GAO studies have concluded that open service does not undermine military readiness, troop morale or national security.

• Today, there are at least 66,000 gay Americans serving on active duty and one million gay veterans in the United States, according to the Urban Institute.
Additional research and polls.

And what do military leaders think?

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
"It is my personal and professional belief that allowing homosexuals to serve openly would be the right thing to do. No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens."
Defense Secretary Robert Gates:
"I fully support the President's decision [regarding the repeal of DADT]. The question before us is not whether the military prepares to make this change, but how we best prepare for it. We have received our orders from the commander in chief and we are moving out accordingly."
Admirals, Generals: Let Gays Serve Openly -- "More than 100 call for repeal of military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy."
posted by ericb at 2:27 PM on October 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


There's this little thing called separation of powers, and it's pretty vital to American democracy. Maybe you should go learn something about it.

The right not to be deprived of life without due process had a good run too.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:32 PM on October 12, 2010


Maybe you should go learn something about it.

Personally, I believe that if I knew anything pertinent about American democracy, I would lose my opportunity to one day be a an anchor personality on one of the 24 hour news networks.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:33 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's this little thing called separation of powers, and it's pretty vital to American democracy. Maybe you should go learn something about it.

As long as we are teaching - America is a Republic, not a Democracy.

And if there is a separation of powers - do show where Congress or the Courts have challenged Executive Orders. I'm unaware of such challenges succeeding, so educate me.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:35 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


>>And Obama is the Head of the Armed Forces. He could have written an executive order.

>No.

We're all aware of Executive Order 9981. What do you actually have in mind?
posted by darth_tedious at 2:36 PM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


quin: "They had asked Phillips to limit her ruling to the members of the Log Cabin Republicans, a 19,000-member group that includes current and former military service members. . . .

Maybe I'm not reading this right, but were they actually asking that the ruling only apply to them? That any non-LCR would still be subject to DADT? Because if so, that seems to be a perfect lead into a "fuck you, got mine" situation and they'd be complete assholes for trying to encourage it.
"

Well they are Log Cabin Republicans!
posted by symbioid at 2:39 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


(and really - America is a Republic on paper only. Sometime in the past the US of A started using State power to back Corporations, this can be called fascism and with the 23+% of the worlds
prison population an argument can be made for the label 'police state'. As long as we're gonna slap a label on things, lets pick some labels!)
posted by rough ashlar at 2:45 PM on October 12, 2010


Just to be perfectly clear and to echo mr_roboto:

The Log Cabin Republicans did not ask that this injunction only apply to them. That was something suggested by the government attorneys seeking to limit the injunction's scope. You have to get the facts wrong to make this a dig against Republicans.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 2:52 PM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yeah, the Obama administration just appealed a ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional even though Obama opposes the law. I think the administration will have no problem appealing this ruling too.
posted by jedicus at 2:55 PM on October 12, 2010


As long as we are teaching - America is a Republic, not a Democracy.

As long as we are "teaching" - I'm pretty sure that the United States of America is a liberal, or representative, democracy. (Those terms are not exclusive, ya know.)
posted by mrgrimm at 3:02 PM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


dirigibleman: "A Republican group did something that the Democrat-led Congress and Whitehouse were unwilling to do, despite overwhelming popularity among voters."

Last I heard, the DADT repeal was passed in the House by 92% of Democrats (and opposed by 94% of Republicans) while it failed in the Senate after being supported by 95% of the Democratic caucus (a simple majority of 56) and filibustered unanimously by the Republicans.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:05 PM on October 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


I am asking this because I am too lazy to look it up . . . but in my state the attorney general has a duty to defend the laws and initiatives, regardless of whether s/he agrees with them. That's because our legislature doesn't have its own executive arm which can defend the laws for them.

Is the same thing true at the federal level? That is, is the Obama administration's Justice Department obligated to defend Congressional legislation, whether or not the executive branch agrees with said legislation?
posted by bearwife at 3:07 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Finally Republicans are able to overcome repressive anti-gay Clinton-Obama era Democratic policies with the help of an activist judge.

Dumping the politically difficult choices on Congress is not an expansion of executive powers.
Since it’s congressional legislation, unilaterally overturning the ban would be a gigantic expansion of executive powers. Obama set a timetable on repealing it.
The White House was looking to repeal the ban in the 2011 defense authorization bill (and in fact had an amendment in the bill) but y’know, filibuster. That John McCain sure can get things done. Maybe we all should have voted for him.

So not so much dumping a politically difficult choice on the poor congressmen as much as a complete lack of support for Obama’s amendment from congress.

And Obama is the Head of the Armed Forces.
He could have written an executive order.

Yeah, we all miss Bush. But congress makes laws. If the president issues an executive order the law doesn’t change, it merely does not get enforced. Then the next president comes and rescinds the executive order, ignores it, blah blah blah.
It really is better to make policy change.

As long as we are teaching - America is a Republic, not a Democracy.
We're a representative democracy by mechanism and in a lot of complex methods internally. In overall form, yeah we're a constitutional republic but c'mon, California residents voted by majority to outlaw gay marriage and there had/has to be a fight over it (in the courts and other areas).

Not that what we have is ideal, but this stuff isn't as pat as one guy signing his name to something or most people being on board with an idea. Both extremes are very dangerous. And most certainly don't make lasting change.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:15 PM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is the same thing true at the federal level? That is, is the Obama administration's Justice Department obligated to defend Congressional legislation, whether or not the executive branch agrees with said legislation?

That is true. The issue at hand, at least in many people's opinions, is that they have defended DODT and other similarly lousy things with a kind of zeal that genuinely stings.

Sometimes the "how" is as important as the "what."
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:16 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just to be perfectly clear... You have to get the facts wrong to make this a dig against Republicans.

QFT

In case you didn't notice, those Republicans just fulfilled your own President's campaign promise. If you can't bring yourself to thank them, you can at least not libel them for their trouble.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:16 PM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Since it’s congressional legislation, unilaterally overturning the ban would be a gigantic expansion of executive powers.

This is in response to something I wrote, but just to clarify, I'm not the one talking about executive orders. I just think Obama's justice department should not bother appealing this decision. I don't think that is a gigantic expansion of executive powers.
posted by enn at 3:17 PM on October 12, 2010


That is, is the Obama administration's Justice Department obligated to defend Congressional legislation, whether or not the executive branch agrees with said legislation?

At this point, they wouldn't be defending, but appealing. Are they obligated to appeal?

So, if the fed gets sued, they have to defend. But if they lose, are they required to appeal? I don't believe so. But IANAL, much less one versed in federal law.
posted by rtha at 3:18 PM on October 12, 2010


I'm pretty sure that the United States of America is a liberal, or representative, democracy

Others have a different POV:
Constitution-based federal republic

McHenry’s notes were first published in The American Historical Review, vol. 11, 1906, and the anecdote on p. 618 reads: “A lady asked Dr. Franklin Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy. A republic replied the Doctor if you can keep it.”

"And to the Republic, for which it stands" - a quote from someplace.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:18 PM on October 12, 2010


We're a representative democracy by mechanism

If you want to argue what is done VS what should be done - that's a separate fight.

But on paper - Constitution-based federal republic.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:22 PM on October 12, 2010


Sounds like he gets shit either way. Certainly, he'll get shit from all sides if he lets the judge's decision stand -- from conservatives, obviously, but also from some of his gay supporters who see that Obama was 'only' a passive instrument in that change they wanted.

As a "gay supporter", best thing for Obama to do would be to just now get out of the way, if he can't affect the changes that need to happen. He is under no obligation to prioritize an appeal, unless the goal is to for some inexplicable reason appease socially conservative Republicans once again.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:38 PM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


It might not have started out this way, but lately I've been seeing the "America is a Republic, not a Democracy" nitpick trotted out by conservative ideologues using such semantics to draw a not-so-subtle distinction between "correct" Republicans and "incorrect" Democrats.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:39 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


"So, if the fed gets sued, they have to defend. But if they lose, are they required to appeal? I don't believe so. But IANAL, much less one versed in federal law."

From a good governance standpoint, maybe. From a practical standpoint of prioritizing limited resources, well, I'm sure that Obama could find a lot of other things to appeal instead.

(Also not a lawyer, though.)
posted by klangklangston at 3:53 PM on October 12, 2010


Clearly the Obama Administration is not interested in using its discretion to take the issue out of the hands of Congress, with respect to either DOMA or DADT. In both cases, all they had to do to align the policy with what they claim to be their preferred objectives is to decline to appeal. To do so in the DADT ruling would end discharges of gay and lesbian service members immediately. In the case of DOMA, the President previously called it “an abhorrent law.” With DADT he announced to the world in this year’s State of the Union address that he would work to end the policy. He clearly doesn’t want to be the one responsible for pulling the trigger. And that calls into question all of his statements in favor of equality.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:00 PM on October 12, 2010


21 Senators have signed a letter urging the DOJ not to appeal.
posted by Craig at 4:22 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


If the president issues an executive order the law doesn’t change, it merely does not get enforced. Then the next president comes and rescinds the executive order, ignores it, blah blah blah.

A list of things not deemed important enough to actually write a real law to make the change:
wikipedia.org List_of_United_States_federal_executive_orders

(and this doesn't touch on the part where law is what past courts decided, nor on the whole law is what's in the Federal Registry. Someone else got to point out the 'activist Judge' label.)
posted by rough ashlar at 4:33 PM on October 12, 2010


Jesus, people. The U.S. is a republic because we don't have a monarch. The U.S. is a democracy because we vote for our political leaders. A country can be both, or one, or neither. A country can call itself both (hello, DPRK) and be neither.
posted by kittyprecious at 4:34 PM on October 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


From a practical standpoint of prioritizing limited resources,

When killing a Taliban runs $50 to $100 million a pop - at what point does such considerations become a practical concern?

Cuz that seems like something to work on with conclusions like The US will Default on its Debt ... either that or experience hyperinflation

This case isn't about any monetary damages - non-heterosexuals want the right to be in the military to be harassed

What's the budget effect of unit harassment? Did harassment become a limited resource?
posted by rough ashlar at 4:45 PM on October 12, 2010


A list of things not deemed important enough to actually write a real law to make the change

My favorite:

Executive Order 11478: Prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, or age in the competitive service of the federal civilian workforce, which includes civilians employed by the armed forces...

Guess who out-liberaled Obama on that one?

Richard Nixon.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:45 PM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Did harassment become a limited resource?

Take off your crazy pants and reread what I wrote, OK?
posted by klangklangston at 5:10 PM on October 12, 2010


The order represents a complete and total victory for the Log Cabin Republicans

Well he got that right. But I can't contemplate "a complete and total victory for the Log Cabin Republicans" without remember the savage beating I witnessed being administered to a lesbian protester from Fed Up Queers at a Log Cabin meeting in New York several years ago. Be careful what you wish for.
posted by layceepee at 5:10 PM on October 12, 2010


Guess who out-liberaled Obama on that one?

Richard Nixon.


/me shakes head

He created the EPA, too.

Nixon was kind of cool, wasn't he?

You know. Except for the felonies.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:14 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Nixon was kind of cool, wasn't he?

Well, he was kind of fashion forward with the stubble and all.

As far as this law goes, isn't the military having a hard enough time keeping recruitment and personnel levels up to snuff?
posted by jonmc at 5:29 PM on October 12, 2010


Finally Republicans are able to overcome repressive anti-gay Clinton-Obama era Democratic policies with the help of an activist judge.

Overturning precedent does not make one an activist judge. The writing has been on the wall for DADT for about a year now, if only because there's no currently-valid evidence that provides defensible logical basis for the law.

Similarly, the judge who overturned Prop 8 in Perry vs. Schwarzenegger would only have been an activist if he ruled the other way. The defense's arguments in that case were so hideously bad that they were entered as evidence by the plaintiffs.
posted by schmod at 5:48 PM on October 12, 2010


isn't the military having a hard enough time keeping recruitment and personnel levels up to snuff?

That's always a problem, and the military folks I work with are tired of tiptoeing around DADT. It's a big sad deal drumming someone out of the military, whether it's for fighting, drinking or being overweight. When a commander has to sign the papers to dismiss a perfectly good soldier/sailor/airman because they're gay is a total heartbreak. There's no working around it either...the rules are solid.

I really wish military commanders were able or felt like they were able to express their opinions on this. The facts from the operational level are pretty important to this. I know their have been polls and studies done within the military but those guys aren't really in a position to have a dissenting voice or opinion. Their job is to maintain the status quo until ordered otherwise.
posted by snsranch at 5:54 PM on October 12, 2010


The writing has been on the wall for DADT for about a year now, if only because there's no currently-valid evidence that provides defensible logical basis for the law.


*glances over at drug law* *shrugs*
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:55 PM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Except for the felonies.

He got caught. I'm betting with a Grand Jury and a ham sandwich you could get true bills for a felonies on any of the post 1940 Presidents. (I bet a ham sandwich BTW)

Henry Kissinger was of the time of Nixon - Peace Prize Winner who drove Tom Leher out of the music business and commonly called a War Criminal.

The Nixon White House brought so many gifts. Wonder what the next one will be?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:07 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Haven't read the actual injunction yet, but if the reasoning is solid enough, there could actually be good reason to appeal it. This is at the District Court level right now, and even though it presumably affects all gays and lesbians serving now or in the future, the reasoning behind it could lay the groundwork for many more gains for equal rights in the future if brought to higher levels of precedent.

Might be too much of a gamble to play with DADT that way, but as a straight civilian, I certainly can't make that call.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:52 PM on October 12, 2010


For the record, "activist judge" is a meaningless term.
posted by John Cohen at 8:05 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's a judge's job to tell the majority to go stuff itself if their will is contrary to the law, especially the constitutionally protected rights of others.
posted by Zalzidrax at 10:02 PM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


bearwife: The best citation I can find (ps: I really suck at legal research-I'm still learning and it's been a very long day) is from a 1980 opinion of the DOJ Office of Legal Counsel:

"The Attorney General has a duty to defend and enforce both the Acts of Congress and the Constitution; when there is a conflict between the requirements of the one and the requirements of the other, it is almost always the case that he can best discharge the responsibilities of his office by defending and enforcing the Act of Congress." Attorney General's Duty to Defend & Enforce Constitutionally Objectionable Legislation, 4A U.S. Op. Off. Legal Counsel 55 (1980).

of course the next paragraph reads:

"While there is no general privilege in the Executive to disregard laws that it deems inconsistent with the Constitution, in rare cases the Executive's duty to the constitutional system may require action in defiance of a statute. In such a case, the Executive's refusal to defend and enforce an unconstitutional statute is authorized and lawful." Attorney General's Duty to Defend & Enforce Constitutionally Objectionable Legislation, 4A U.S. Op. Off. Legal Counsel 55 (1980).

Some other opinion I read that got me there-oh!- Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52, (1926), seems to be read as making the sticking point on whether or not the President can not follow a statute he thinks is unconstitutional be-if he thinks the Supreme Court will agree with him. Yeah.

And since I have ASSIGNED legal research to be doing.
posted by atomicstone at 10:18 PM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


My point of all of that was, yes, I think an argument CAN be made that the DOJ doesn't HAVE to defend against the ruling. But it's definitely not a simple one. I'm not saying anything about the ease, process or validity of other methods-such as Congressional mechanisms or Executive orders. Nor am I saying anythng like *I* want the Government to defend the case, or, worse, win. Because I don't.
posted by atomicstone at 10:25 PM on October 12, 2010


As long as we are teaching - America is a Republic, not a Democracy.

Strictly speaking, your not teaching, you're miseducating. A Republic is a Democracy. James Madison himself was pretty clear on that, defining the US as a representative democracy, as opposed to a direct democracy.

The "America is a Republic, not a Democracy" talking point was an odd one, trotted out some years ago, mostly by libertarians, as I recall. But it's not accurate and thoroughly discredited, and, if you are to presume to teach, it's a good idea to actually know what you're talking about.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:26 PM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Here's a pretty great take on the matter from my favorite satirical guitar-and-accordion folksinging duo, the Prince Myshkins:

Let Me In To The Military, from their record "Shiny Round Object".
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 10:36 PM on October 12, 2010



For the record, "activist judge" is a meaningless term.

No, it isn't. It may or may not be meaningful here but activist judges are judges who use their power to interpret black as white. Read about Wickard vs. Filburn and tell me those judges weren't being awfully creative.
posted by codswallop at 10:57 PM on October 12, 2010


You don't need to tell me to "read about Wickard vs. Filburn." I studied it back when I was in law school.

"Activist judge" means "a judge who did something I don't like." It's a political weapon, not legal terminology.

OK, if you want to scrutinize my comments for literal accuracy, how about this: I would estimate that about 99% of the time "activist judge" is used, it's used to give a false air of legal seriousness to a political argument. It is very, very rarely used in any meaningful, legal sense. Want me to identify a judge as activist in the serious sense? OK: Roe v. Wade was judicial activism, and Blackmun was being an activist judge when he wrote the opinion. So, there, it is possible to use "activist judge" in a meaningful sense. But very few cases are like that.
posted by John Cohen at 11:30 PM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Thank God for Casey
posted by Navelgazer at 11:43 PM on October 12, 2010


As long as we are teaching - America is a Republic, not a Democracy.

I am so tired of this Glenn Beck inspired meme, as if the two were mutually exclusive. Last time I checked I vote, I vote every two years.
posted by IvoShandor at 12:46 AM on October 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


He got caught. I'm betting with a Grand Jury and a ham sandwich you could get true bills for a felonies on any of the post 1940 Presidents. (I bet a ham sandwich BTW)

And yet a multi-million dollar fishing expedition was used against Bill Clinton and the only thing they ended up with was Contempt of Court based on an irrelevant accusation caused by the fishing expedition itself (no it wasn't perjury - Kenneth Starr's obsession with the presidents' pecker was neither material nor relevant to the case and explicitely called out as such by the judge).

But back on topic, is there any reason to appeal this?
posted by Francis at 2:31 AM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Let me add my kudos to the Log Cabin Republicans. Now I wonder how the rest of the Republicans will react.

Just guessing, but maybe Obama wanted the LCR to take the lead on this... If so, and if he did anything to help it happen, it was a brilliant maneuver.
posted by tommyD at 4:00 AM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


And here I thought "activist judge" was a term used by the right to redirect attention away from their own judicial activism. It's scary when you consider a whole list of right wing judicial decisions as a hole! Like this thing with the free speech for corporations, for example.

I'm blown away though by the very fact that DADT and DOMA are still discussed as anything other than tokens of hopelessly outdated moral foolishness. I have spells when any earnest discussion on the topic appears a joke. But then, I don't live directly under the influence of either. Shall we next discuss the moral perils in allowing single women to live away from their fathers?
posted by Goofyy at 4:40 AM on October 13, 2010


Just guessing, but maybe Obama wanted the LCR to take the lead on this... If so, and if he did anything to help it happen, it was a brilliant maneuver.

This takes the "11-dimensional chess player" fantasy to new heights of self-delusion.

It was not a "brilliant maneuver" to let members of the opposing political party fulfill his campaign promise to a major constituency. On the contrary, it was an unforced blunder of historic proportions.

It was the equivalent of taking out a full page ad in the Advocate saying "All the money you gave me in 2008 to fight for your rights would have been better spent on the Log Cabin Republicans."
posted by Joe Beese at 5:46 AM on October 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


It was not a "brilliant maneuver" to let members of the opposing political party fulfill his campaign promise to a major constituency. On the contrary, it was an unforced blunder of historic proportions.

But it will shake up the Republican party --- that Republicans led the way on this will be divisive in the party.
posted by zizzle at 6:36 AM on October 13, 2010


I continue to be taken aback by all the grumbling about Obama. Seriously, you all would be happier with the cranky old guy and Palin in charge now? By the way, this lawsuit would probably have come to the same conclusion with them in the White House, so what does that say about these silly arguments?

I'm not seeing much factual support for seeing the Log Cabin Republicans as progressive saviors.

The political pressure has finally made its way to the courts, so fighting against all the Republican exploitation of homophobia is finally paying off. Also, confusing the LCR with the Republican party or Republican voters is pretty hilarious.

It was progressive support for human rights for decades that got us this far. It seems strange for people to try to turn it into some sort of top-down thing at this juncture.
posted by warbaby at 7:05 AM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I continue to be taken aback by all the grumbling about Obama. Seriously, you all would be happier with the cranky old guy and Palin in charge now?

I'm pretty sure the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wouldn't have told Congress they supported repealing DADT if McCain had become president.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:44 AM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


But it will shake up the Republican party --- that Republicans led the way on this will be divisive in the party.

Well, the LCR are a fringe laughing stock to mainstream Republicans, but in a few years when the dust settles, it will allow them to claim another victory for civil rights (like they do with slavery and the Civil Rights Act).
posted by dirigibleman at 7:49 AM on October 13, 2010


"I continue to be taken aback by all the grumbling about Obama. Seriously, you all would be happier with the cranky old guy and Palin in charge now?"

I'm pretty sure the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wouldn't have told Congress they supported repealing DADT if McCain had become president.


That's total bullshit. They would have spoken their minds. The men and women of our Armed Forces are totally above political theat....*snicker*

Sorry I couldn't get through that act without laughing.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:53 AM on October 13, 2010


The next issue of The New York Times Sunday magazine has a major profile of Obama at this moment in his presidency. It contains the following remarkable passage:

Obama expressed optimism to me that he could make common cause with Republicans after the midterm elections. “It may be that regardless of what happens after this election, they feel more responsible,” he said, “either because they didn’t do as well as they anticipated, and so the strategy of just saying no to everything and sitting on the sidelines and throwing bombs didn’t work for them, or they did reasonably well, in which case the American people are going to be looking to them to offer serious proposals and work with me in a serious way.”

Confirming that Axelrod spoke for the big man when he said:

So I'm hoping that with more seats, the Republicans will feel a greater sense of responsibility to work with us to solve some of these problems.

We keep being told how smart Obama is.

How smart does this strategy sound to you?
posted by Joe Beese at 8:09 AM on October 13, 2010


He got caught. I'm betting with a Grand Jury and a ham sandwich you could get true bills for a felonies on any of the post 1940 Presidents. (I bet a ham sandwich BTW)

rough ashlar, are you familiar with a man named James Earl Carter?

I like mine with swiss cheese, and a bit of mayo. Rye, please.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:00 AM on October 13, 2010


We keep being told how smart Obama is.

How smart does this strategy sound to you?


What does any of that have anything to do with DADT?

It seems silly to blame the guy who didn't do it when it got done anyway. "It is not whether, but it is the process of how."

I think it is 11-dimensional chess, or at least a shallow attempt at it. Maybe just three-dimensional chess.

It's an election year and an election month. Pretty much anything any politician anywhere does is with one eye on "swing voters," i.e. "rubes." I'd bet nigh every single decision is calculated by poll analysis.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:15 AM on October 13, 2010


Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday that abruptly ending the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy as a federal judge has ordered would have enormous consequences.

Read that again. The Secretary of Defense said that, presumably with the knowledge and at least tacit support of Obama.

It's getting increasingly difficult for me to ignore the fact that Obama seems to actually be working against gay interests at every turn.
posted by Avenger at 11:28 AM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday that abruptly ending the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy as a federal judge has ordered would have enormous consequences.

In conversations with current and former soldiers I've found that their commaners' openly casting aspersions on their professionalism is a far greater threat to morale than the prospect of serving with gay people.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 11:37 AM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


It seems silly to blame the guy who didn't do it when it got done anyway.

- You didn't clean your room like your promised. I ended up doing it for you.

- It's silly to blame me. The room got cleaned didn't it?
posted by Joe Beese at 11:54 AM on October 13, 2010


I continue to be taken aback by all the grumbling about Obama.

To be fair, at least around here, it's mostly Joe Beese grinding his usual ax.
Joe, we get it. Really.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:00 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


- You didn't clean your room like your promised. I ended up doing it for you.

- It's silly to blame me. The room got cleaned didn't it?


A better analogy:

- I was working on a plan to get rid of all the rotting walnuts in the backyard without getting my hands dirty, when a pack of squirrels swarmed over the fence and took them away.

Fun!
posted by mrgrimm at 12:02 PM on October 13, 2010


An even better one:

- I hired you to haul away those rotting walnuts in my backyard. After more than a year of your doing nothing, some squirrels finally took them.

- It's silly to blame me. The walnuts are gone now, aren't they? Now please hire me to fix your roof.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:08 PM on October 13, 2010


I have an even better one:

--I can't shut up about Obama.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:10 PM on October 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


Nor can you seem to shut up about me.

The difference is that Obama's inaction on DADT is the subject of this post and I'm not.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:20 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


"How smart does this strategy sound to you?"

Given that the Republicans are likely to win the House and maybe the Senate, and at least make big gains in both of them, it sounds like the only smart rhetorical strategy available, even if he knows that they will not be willing to help do anything smart or progressive (and they will not). What else is he going to say? "Whelp, looks like we're fucked."

And by the way, Joe, it seems a little odd to decry him for this when you keep repeating that you have no interest in voting for the Democrats or supporting ones that aren't in suicide districts (which if I recall correctly, you're in, basically). You think that by having the Dems lose seats, this makes progressive action on anything more likely? Even spinning this Log Cabin Republican victory as a Republican victory would seem pretty far-fetched to any reasonable person, and there's no reason to believe that LCRs are likely to have more of an impact after this election.

Finally, since a large part of the President's power comes from agenda-setting and implementation powers, it seems more than a little blinkered to think that this would have happened with a Republican president. Even by not acting, Obama's better on this than McCain would have been.
posted by klangklangston at 12:25 PM on October 13, 2010


democracy, n. ... 1b. a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections [emph. mine]
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:25 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


The difference is that Obama's inaction on DADT is the subject of this post and I'm not.

I thought that the subject of the post was a court decision on DADT. There's a subtle difference there, you know.
posted by me & my monkey at 12:28 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nor can you seem to shut up about me.

This is the first I have spoken about it. But, instead of speaking, from here on out I will just flag, because it truly is obnoxious.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:34 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


What else is he going to say? "Whelp, looks like we're fucked."

Well, he could stick with what he was saying less than a month ago:

... right now, we've got a choice between a Republican Party that has moved to the right of George Bush and is looking to lock in the same policies that got us into these disasters in the first place, versus an administration that, with some admitted warts, has been the most successful administration in a generation in moving progressive agendas forward.

But apparently he was wrong then. Apparently, when the Republicans take back Congress, they'll be delighted to work with him.

So which of these two men know what the fuck they're talking about? September Obama or October Obama?
posted by Joe Beese at 12:37 PM on October 13, 2010


"But apparently he was wrong then. Apparently, when the Republicans take back Congress, they'll be delighted to work with him.

So which of these two men know what the fuck they're talking about? September Obama or October Obama?
"

You realize that those quotes aren't actually opposed, right? He still thinks they're going to be bad for America, yet he's hoping that they'll be less toxic when they actually have to help govern. I mean, seriously, if that's all you got, then you need to spend less time in the bunker.
posted by klangklangston at 12:40 PM on October 13, 2010


No, saying that the Republicans are "looking to lock in the same policies" [September] and saying they will make cause with him [October] are, in fact, actually opposed.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:54 PM on October 13, 2010


Overturning precedent does not make one an activist judge.
Schmod, calibrate your sarcasm detector. See, Republicans for years have been harping how ‘activist judges’ are bad and change the law and they also hate teh gays so the conflation here… aww, I hate to explain jokes.

I just think Obama's justice department should not bother appealing this decision.

Fair enough. But again – it’s not a monolithic unit. The lower echelons in the military you can order to turn on a dime (still takes a bit), but the joint chiefs might bureaucratically resist. The justice department too, at the upper levels, is politically influenced, and they’re essentially civilians. Even on a good day the federal government has three speeds: slow, reverse and WHAT THE FUCK?!

But on paper - Constitution-based federal republic.
Sure. Plenty of direct democracy though. With all the abuses and real political ramifications that entails.

A list of things not deemed important enough to actually write a real law to make the change

They have the force of law, but you still have one individual office holder making the determination. And they have been in many cases changed, eliminated or rescinded. Or are Lincoln’s executive orders to suspend habeus corpus still standing? Clinton reversed Reagan’s EO on the use of federal funds for abortion. He fought a war using executive orders.
Obama changed a number of executive orders when he got into office. Bush was pretty notorious for that. (How’s that stem cell thing of his working out? Not that I'm not happy to see research less impeded, but I wouldn't rest my hopes on an EO making something more permanent)

My point being that something that can be unilaterally advanced can be unilaterally rescinded.

(Or, what, we’re never going to have a Republican and/or homophobic president ever again? There’s no populist block there to exploit even if a given politician is sympathetic to basic human rights?)
It’s better to have it done more broadly than at one single point which can potentially fail in 4-8 years.

Especially since a motivated congress can write legislation amending or cancelling, etc. an executive order. The president can of course veto that bill. But if they get the 2/3 majority they can tell him to go to hell.
Additionally, EOs can be challenged through the courts. Which seems to have happened here.
And do we really want to uphold the tradition of expanding this power? No matter how good the cause, it’s going to come bite us on the ass eventually.

‘Obama expressed optimism to me that he could make common cause with Republicans after the midterm elections.’
‘We keep being told how smart Obama is.
How smart does this strategy sound to you?’


Couple things come to mind here. Sun Tzu for one:
"When strong, avoid them. If of high morale, depress them. Seem humble to fill them with conceit. If at ease, exhaust them. If united, separate them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise."

Or more recently 50 Cent:
"That's when I realized that as long as you don't broadcast your beefs, you can get away cold with murder. It's even better if you don't allow the beef to take place. If someone disrespects you, you can know in your heard that you're going to get him, but you don't have to show him there's a beef. You can just look at it like, Okay, this nigga must not know. And then you fall back and you put it down."

But most especially Sun Tzu on this:
"When one treats people with benevolence, justice, and righteousness, and reposes confidence in them, the army will be united in mind and all will be happy to serve their leaders'."
posted by Smedleyman at 1:03 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


and saying they will make cause with him [October]

You might want to reread your own pullquote. He's speculating about the future. He's not saying anyone "will" do anything. "May" != "will". And it is certainly possible that, if the republicans are put in the unpleasant position of actually having to govern in the Congress, they'll have to do something other than say "no" to everything.

There is plenty about Obama to criticize - as you know better than anyone - but this particular criticism is weak sauce at best.
posted by me & my monkey at 1:05 PM on October 13, 2010


Rep. Steve King (R-IA) Calls DADT Injunction Judge The ‘Latest In The Line’ Of ‘Gay Rights Agenda’ Judges Who Need To Be Removed.
posted by ericb at 1:09 PM on October 13, 2010


"Critics of the ruling include Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council and a proponent of the don’t ask, don’t tell law, who accused Judge Phillips of 'playing politics with our national defense.'

In a statement, Mr. Perkins, a former Marine, said that 'once again, an activist federal judge is using the military to advance a liberal social agenda,' and noted that there was still 'strong opposition' to changing the law from military leaders.

Mr. Perkins predicted that the decision would have wide-ranging effects in the coming elections. 'This move will only further the desire of voters to change Congress,' he said. 'Americans are upset and want to change Congress and the face of government because of activist judges and arrogant politicians who will not listen to the convictions of most Americans and, as importantly, the Constitution’s limits on what the courts and Congress can and cannot do.'"*
posted by ericb at 1:14 PM on October 13, 2010


>> Americans are upset and want to change Congress and the face of government because of activist judges

Legislative branch approval rating: 21%
Judicial branch approval rating: 50%
posted by thesmophoron at 3:39 PM on October 13, 2010


Obama's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Debacle: By dragging his feet amid dramatic social and legal advances for gay rights, the "change" president has become the chief obstacle to overturning DADT.
posted by Craig at 4:09 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rep. Steve King (R-IA) Calls DADT Injunction Judge The ‘Latest In The Line’ Of ‘Gay Rights Agenda’ Judges Who Need To Be Removed.

Representative Steve King needs to be removed. Hear me Iowa? Like the typical Republican hypocrite King hates "judicial activism", unless it's his kind of judicial activism.
posted by IvoShandor at 2:59 AM on October 14, 2010


Clinton admin. refused to defend in court law kicking HIV+ out of military; Obama can do same with DADT

Obama violates injunction, refuses to enlist gay man.
posted by Craig at 9:28 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


You'd think that Obama would have better things to do than to personally man the enlistment desk at the local recruiters.

Oh, wait, it wasn't him that denied the re-enlistment? Well, why'd you say it was, then?
posted by klangklangston at 11:14 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Obama violates injunction, refuses to enlist gay man.

Is the Defense Dept. in Contempt of Court for Turning Away Gay Navy Vet Who Wanted to Reenlist Yesterday?
posted by ericb at 11:53 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


The administration has filed for a stay on the injunction.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:46 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to allow the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays to continue during an appeal.



also


Obama says on MTV
"This policy will end, and it will end on my watch."
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:47 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


On the bright side, Obama is finally fighting Republicans – log cabin Republicans, but hey, it’s a start.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:46 PM on October 14, 2010


Obama says on MTV

Watch: Obama Discusses Bullying, 'DADT', Whether Being Gay is a Choice, at MTV Town Hall.
posted by ericb at 3:37 PM on October 14, 2010


Palm Center Demands Pentagon List Consequences Stemming from Recent Injunction of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'.
posted by ericb at 3:38 PM on October 14, 2010


Watch: Rachel Maddow Talks to Two Closeted Active U.S. Military Fighter Pilots Fed Up with 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'.
posted by ericb at 3:42 PM on October 14, 2010


U.S. Air Force Stops Enforcement Of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'.
posted by ericb at 3:49 PM on October 14, 2010


Belatedly, Pentagon tells services not to enforce DADT
posted by lullaby at 4:11 PM on October 14, 2010


Joe, the quick reason why Ericb's links are welcomed is that they have actual interesting content. There's a reason to go read those links. Linking to a comment on Balloonjuice that you also quote is not, in fact, interesting content, adds nothing to the discussion, and only continues your appearance as someone with an axe to grind against Obama.
posted by klangklangston at 5:12 PM on October 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is this better?

"Based on this advice from the Department of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff, and after consulting with the Department of Justice about the legal effect of that advice, the President concluded that the Dornan Amendment is unconstitutional. It arbitrarily discriminates and violates all notions of equal protection. Again, at the direction of the President, the Attorney General and the Department of Justice will decline to defend this provision in court. If the Congress chooses to defend this treatment of men and women in the military, it may do so. But this administration will not." - White House Counsel Jack Quinn, 1996
This is exactly what we have been arguing for a year and a half, and what the Obama administration and its apologists have been denying: The President has the power to not appeal a case if he so chooses. We were told that simply wasn't an option, we were told that even if it were an option it certainly wouldn't apply to a case involving gays being kicked out of the military, and we were told that all hell would break loose if it ever happened, and now we find out that it didn't only happen, it happened on a case dealing with kicking gays (let's face it, back then HIV+ was code for "gay") out of the military, and all hell didn't break loose, a later Republican president didn't retaliate, and locusts didn't descend from on high.

posted by Joe Beese at 6:39 PM on October 14, 2010


Of course, whether the law does or does not compel him to appeal was always a smokescreen. The Geneva Convention, which as a ratified treaty has the force of federal law, compels him to prosecute torture. So he's quite willing to ignore what the law compels him to do when it suits his purpose.

But Clinton not having appealed in defense of the Dornan Amendment denies Obama's apologists this particular excuse once and for all. They'll have to switch back to something else. 11-dimensional chess is always good in a pinch.

Ignore Obama's words on this subject. They cost him nothing, and deliver the same. Look at his actions...

His actions are exactly those we would expect from a man with right-wing prejudices against homosexuality who, for reasons of political expediency, had to pretend to support LGBT issues.

Such a man would excuse himself from signing an executive order suspending dismissals by saying that he wanted the Senate to pass a repeal. But when it came up for a crucial vote, he made his indifference to the issue clearly known. And after the vote failed, he would still refuse to sign an order. And he would continue fighting tooth and claw against the repeal in court, hiding behind an insincere and false claim that he was required to do so. He would do so, even though it cost him badly needed support in an imminent election - the depth of his bigotry overcoming even political self-interest.

We see Obama doing these things. Yet we are not supposed to harbor the slightest suspicion that he has such bigotry. Despite his public opposition to gay marriage. Despite putting a notoriously homophobic speaker in his inauguration.

We are supposed to ignore the evidence of his consistent, repeated actions - because everyone knows what a decent and tolerant man he is. And everyone knows this because... well, they just do.

Leaving us to deduce that there must be hidden forces at work that require him to create this deceptive impression of a bigot. But we're smart enough not to be fooled! We know the goodness of his heart.

If he asks us to trust him just a little longer... until just after the Republicans retake the House... we can be sure that he'll come through for us then.

He promised it again today: "DADT will end on my watch." (Maybe not by anything he does, but, you know, one way or the other.)

And he wouldn't lie to us...

Would he?
posted by Joe Beese at 7:26 PM on October 14, 2010


I really hate to say it, but I'm starting to feel like Joe. This shit is unacceptable. I think we all imagine that Obama's stance against marriage equality is just posturing, but I don't know...

Dude might be a bigot, judging by his actions.
posted by mr_roboto at 7:43 PM on October 14, 2010


I can understand the frustration, but I believe there are good reasons for this repeal of DADT to stand on its own merits without presidential intervention. What we really needed to see was the support from military entities for the ruling. That's happened, and it's the best approach. Now and forever more, no one will be able to say that it happened as a result of the President's liberal agenda. It was ruled in a court and the military followed suit before the President made any action for or against.
posted by snsranch at 8:09 PM on October 14, 2010


"This policy will end, and it will end on my watch."

Yes, the courts will defeat your vigorous defense of the policy.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:12 PM on October 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


And let's be very clear about something else...

Whatever you think Obama has in mind, the only reason to take the political hit of requesting the stay before the election rather than after is because it's imperative to keep those first queers from serving openly.

They're already showing up at recruiting stations. Water is about to rise above the sandbags and start gushing in. Once they jam that foot in the door, it will be 10 times as difficult to get them out again.

So no matter what a kick in the balls it would deliver to an already whimpering base with the election less than 3 weeks away, Obama had to ask for the stay now.

The queers have to be kept from serving openly at all costs.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:20 PM on October 14, 2010


Well, shit.
posted by Dasein at 9:24 PM on October 14, 2010


Joe, you start out by impugning your opponents as apologists and preemptively dismissing "11-dimensional chess." Then you rule out any argument that might come from what Obama's said, while simultaneously arguing that Obama has done is fight "tooth and claw against the repeal in court," and that Obama is "hiding behind an insincere and false claim that he was required to do so."

But Obama hasn't fought tooth and nail against DADT being repealed — Obama can and should have very little say in the direct matter. He's said that he wants DADT overturned, that he disagrees with it. Appealing the ruling isn't fighting tooth and claw against it, and I'm sorry, but Clinton was never a big fan of process. I don't mind that Obama is. I know that the side of equality is going to win, and the more (and higher) decisions that we can get by following process ultimately strengthen America more than simply not having something appealed.

You blame Obama purely for your perception of him as a bigot, preemptively dismiss any alternate explanations for his actions, and insult anyone who would give one, all in one comment. Then, in the next, you have your opponents, or Obama, or whomever, say, "The queers have to be kept from serving openly at all costs."

What kind of discussion do you think you're having? You've decided Obama's a bigot, misrepresented his actions, ignored his position, and just tossed "queers" in there because, what the hell, you're on their side, aren'tcha?
posted by klangklangston at 10:23 PM on October 14, 2010


Appealing the ruling isn't fighting tooth and claw against it...

Yes it is. He's standing in the schoolhouse door.

I'm not a big fan of Boxer anyway. Now, she's not getting my vote this election. And I'm not donating to Obama's reelection campaign.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:43 AM on October 15, 2010


I like to watch politics as inside baseball, but I cannot understand this latest move. Doesn't make any damn sense, considering the 'enthusiasm gap' and the midterms. And the fact that they had 60 days to dither around and make it look like they weren't going to appeal, if they wanted to be evil about it. This just looks dumb.
posted by echo target at 6:55 AM on October 15, 2010


This just looks dumb.

It's pretty simple. If the DOJ didn't file for the stay, the military would have to allow LGBT individuals to serve immediately. Since the Obama administration does not want LGBT individuals serving in the military, the DOJ had to file for a stay.
posted by mr_roboto at 7:02 AM on October 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, even if we assume that all players are evil manipulators, it would be a dumb move. This is going to kill the dems at the polls in two weeks. They were already dealing with an unmotivated base, and this is exactly the opposite of what they should do to fix that. This kind of move would only make sense if they were so dedicated to preserving DADT that they would sacrifice their careers for it, and yet insist on lying to everyone about what their intentions were.

If they really just wanted to preserve it, they could very easily have just ignored the issue, and nothing would have happened. It's conceivable they might not have been elected, but it's not like McCain was going repeal DADT if they didn't get the office. It just doesn't make sense.

The only theory I can come up with is that Obama doesn't want to give the Republicans a stick to beat him with in the midterms, but by doing so, he gives the stick and a reason to use it to the Dems. During the campaign, he did well by playing the long game and sticking to his principles. It's sad and weird and see what he's doing now.
posted by echo target at 7:59 AM on October 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


This kind of move would only make sense if they were so dedicated to preserving DADT that they would sacrifice their careers for it, and yet insist on lying to everyone about what their intentions were.

You said it.
posted by mr_roboto at 8:07 AM on October 15, 2010


It's pretty simple. If the DOJ didn't file for the stay, the military would have to allow LGBT individuals to serve immediately. Since the Obama administration does not want LGBT individuals serving in the military, the DOJ had to file for a stay.

B-b-but he said he wanted them to serve! And he wouldn't lie about that! Not like he did anout the public option, which doesn't really count because it was only a means to an end!

So, no, it's not simple! If he's used every legal strategy in his power to keep LGBTs from openly serving, it's because he has to! The law says so! And you can't compare it to him not prosecuting torture as required by the Geneva Convention because if he had done that he wouldn't have been able to pass the health care bill he wanted! And you can't compare it to Clinton not appealing in defense of another unconstitutional law meant to keep gays out of the military because Clinton was never a big fan of process!

Don't you understand with what a heavy heart Obama obeys these painful duties of his office? Don't you believe that he wants gays to enjoy the same rights as anyone else in the military? (Except for being able to marry, because his religion is against that.) The exact same rights!
posted by Joe Beese at 8:16 AM on October 15, 2010


Watch: Robert Gibbs Says President Will Be 'Actively Involved' in Senate Passage of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal.
posted by ericb at 8:33 AM on October 15, 2010


Well, that's an approach he hasn't tried yet.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:44 AM on October 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


"B-b-but he said he wanted them to serve! And he wouldn't lie about that! Not like he did anout the public option, which doesn't really count because it was only a means to an end!"

BZZT. Lying about either the public option or the repeal of DADT is based on your presumptions. Begging the question.

"If he's used every legal strategy in his power to keep LGBTs from openly serving, it's because he has to!"

BZZT. For someone so concerned with the president "lying," you certainly don't shy away from misrepresenting his actions. Obama has not, in fact, pursued every legal strategy in his power — even something as simple as filing amicus briefs or citing executive privilege would be additional legal strategies, and that's without my even being a lawyer. Not refusing to appeal does not equal using every legal strategy in his power. Straw man.

"And you can't compare it to him not prosecuting torture as required by the Geneva Convention because if he had done that he wouldn't have been able to pass the health care bill he wanted!"

BZZT. No one is saying that you can't compare the two instances. However, it's incredibly easy to compare them and find contrasts. You might try it, you know, with a modicum of sincerity. It's the type of reasoning skills expected from college freshmen. Still, it's begging the question here again.

"And you can't compare it to Clinton not appealing in defense of another unconstitutional law meant to keep gays out of the military because Clinton was never a big fan of process!"

BZZT. Joe, I compared it right above, and you clearly read that. Obama's consistently articulated a philosophy of being deeply concerned with constitutional process. He's done that as a law professor, as a candidate and as president. Clinton's style of governing was both practically and philosophically different. So, yes, you can compare them, and you can still come up with the conclusion that they're different in significant ways. Begging the question again, Joe.

The rest of your comment is more thrashing vain bullshit, Joe. You ignore any evidence that throws your thesis (that Obama's not just a homophobe but an active, virulent one) into question, like his open efforts to repeal DADT through the legislature (who passed the bill in the first place), and his executive order to plan for implementation of the repeal. You really don't have anything to go on except that you don't like Obama and Obama hasn't been as proactive and progressive on this as you'd like, but because you're stuck in a Manichean and childish worldview, you're treating Obama as an enemy here.
posted by klangklangston at 10:37 AM on October 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


We have no guarantee that the Senate will pass legislative repeal of DADT in this session; and there's every chance that a radically Christianist GOP will win majorities in one or both Houses and definitely be able to sustain a filibuster against repeal in the next session if necessary. This is not because even most Republican voters back DADT; it is because it is a party hijacked by religious fundamentalists who cannot conceive of openly gay people serving their country. Look at the party of Paladino and DeMint and Palin. You think they will support anything that could remotely be deemed pro-gay? ...

These men and women are putting their lives at risk for us. Every day we wait, they are victimized and stigmatized. It is immoral, wrong, and damaging to national security. And if Obama thinks gay voters and our families are going to be happy when he ends his first term with nothing accomplished except the lifting of the HIV ban (backed by Bush) and a hate crimes bill that has so far had zero prosecutions, he is mistaken.

Or perhaps it is better put this way:  if this president cannot take a stand on civil rights when it is supported by three quarters of the public, when will he?

posted by Joe Beese at 11:42 AM on October 15, 2010


Yeah, I largely agree with Andrew Sullivan. The use of a stop-loss order would be an excellent move, even if he feels constitutionally bound to defend all laws enacted by congress. But can you also understand the difference between what Sullivan is saying and what you are saying? Or is that just a whooshing somewhere far above your head?

Start with the fact that Sullivan grants Obama has legitimate claims and doesn't just dismiss him as a homophobe right off the bat, and doesn't spend his time creating a paranoiac fantasy about crypto-bias.
posted by klangklangston at 12:39 PM on October 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


And then there's a group of advisors who appear to be as fed up with the maneuvering as Rachel Maddow is, and who want the president to make a public statement effectively saying, "Enough is enough. We've done this as orderly as we can. We can't control everything. But the policy is dead, as of today." Even under this scenario, gay soldiers wouldn't have access to spousal benefits just yet -- the DoD does need time to figure out how it would all work.
The president is apparently convinced that he needs to do this the "right" way -- by getting the Pentagon to acquiesce, then having Congress officially repeal it. But it's already failed in the Senate -- because of Harry Reid's horrible maneuvering and because of the 60-vote requirement and because of those awful, awful women from Maine and because the Senate is broken. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is more than happy to undermine Obama and play the press against him. There's no reason to believe that they'll fall in line once they're done with their "review" in December.

If Obama actually thinks "don't ask, don't tell" is a bad policy that should be overturned, he was just handed a gift -- a way to get rid of the policy without issuing an executive order or attempting to corral a lame duck congress. But he seems to worship the "correct" process so much that he's willing to delay, or doom, the desired result.

posted by Joe Beese at 1:53 PM on October 15, 2010


Pentagon to gay troops: Stay mum for now.
posted by ericb at 3:31 PM on October 15, 2010


Two soldiers behind a barrier receiving fire in Afghanistan:

Trooper 1: "Hey man, you heard their repealing DADT?"

Trooper 2: "Yep."

*BOOM* incoming rpg

Trooper 1: "I don't know if this is the best time to tell you, but, man, I'm gay."

Trooper 2: "Yea, I know."

*PAT PAT PAT PAT PAT* incoming AK-47

Trooper 1: "Do you even care?"

Trooper 2: "Not really man, but thanks for saving my ass the other day. I'll never forget it."

Trooper 1: "Right on, man."

Trooper 2: "Right on."

*fist bumps while under fire*
posted by snsranch at 6:24 PM on October 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Trooper 1: "I don't know if this is the best time to tell you, but, man, I'm gay."

Trooper 2: "Yea, I know."


What exactly does the "orderly transition" that Obama is insisting on require? Why can it not tolerate an immediate end to discharges?

They need time to build separate showers for the queers?
posted by Joe Beese at 7:09 PM on October 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


As far as that goes, I'm buying what you're selling, Joe Beese. I'd really like to know though, who's advising the president this way. What politics or reasoning behind that thinking is beyond me. Absurd and surreal.
posted by snsranch at 8:11 PM on October 15, 2010


Judge Rejects Government's Request for Stay of DADT Injunction.

Judge Skeptical of Government Arguments.
posted by ericb at 5:03 PM on October 18, 2010


Good!

Oh, and for folks arguing that the Justice Department, and through them, Obama, are doing everything in their power to preserve DADT, do note that the DoJ didn't present any evidence at the trial, letting the legislation stand essentially without defense. That their motion for an injunction relied mostly upon a Rolling Stone article further demonstrates that, no, really, they could be doing a lot more.
posted by klangklangston at 5:27 PM on October 18, 2010


Military Instructs Recruiters to Accept Gay Applicants.

Dan Choi, Discharged Under DADT, Says He's Headed to the Times Square Recruiting Station.
posted by ericb at 12:35 PM on October 19, 2010


The Pentagon has advised recruiting commands that they can accept openly gay and lesbian recruit candidates.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:03 PM on October 19, 2010


The DoJ's request for a stay has been DENIED!

The Pentagon has agreed to comply with the ruling until the appeal is heard.
posted by schmod at 7:04 PM on October 19, 2010


The Pentagon has advised recruiting commands that they can accept openly gay and lesbian recruit candidates.

But wouldn't those candidates be irrational to be open about their sexuality, as long as they know that the DOJ could end up winning its case?
posted by John Cohen at 9:20 PM on October 19, 2010


Judge Officially Denies Stay on DADT Injunction as White House Continues Down Muddled Path.
posted by ericb at 7:14 AM on October 20, 2010


But wouldn't those candidates be irrational to be open about their sexuality, as long as they know that the DOJ could end up winning its case?
"The recruiters were told that if a candidate admits he or she is openly gay, and qualify under normal recruiting guidelines, their application can be processed. Recruiters are not allowed to ask candidates if they are gay as part of the application process.

The notice also reminded recruiters that they have to 'manage expectations' of applicants by informing them that a reversal of the court decision might occur, whereby the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy could be reinstated, Smith said."*
posted by ericb at 7:17 AM on October 20, 2010


The notice also reminded recruiters that they have to 'manage expectations' of applicants by informing them that a reversal of the court decision might occur, whereby the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy could be reinstated, Smith said.

So, yes, candidates would be irrational to be open about their sexuality, as long as the DOJ is trying to win this case. (And of course they are trying to win it.)
posted by John Cohen at 7:30 AM on October 20, 2010


DOJ Files Emergency Stay Request with Ninth Circuit on 'DADT'.
posted by ericb at 9:41 AM on October 20, 2010


Photo: Dan Choi's Application to the Army This Week:
"I was discharged in 7/2010 from the US Army because I told the truth about my sexual orientation and refused to lie about my cherished lover and partner. I do not intend to lie about my identity or family in any portion of my service."
posted by ericb at 11:08 AM on October 20, 2010


Really choppy video of Dan Choi going to reenlist.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:11 PM on October 20, 2010


The appeals court just granted the stay. DADT lives.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:27 PM on October 20, 2010


Link? I'm not seeing that anywhere.
posted by John Cohen at 4:31 PM on October 20, 2010


It's just moving on the wire.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:34 PM on October 20, 2010


???
posted by John Cohen at 4:36 PM on October 20, 2010


Actually, they didn't grant the stay, sorry, they put a temporary freeze on Phillips' order while they consider the stay. For the moment, DADT lives.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:37 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here is the relevant link.
posted by John Cohen at 4:38 PM on October 20, 2010


Appeals court OKs temporary reinstatement of ban on gays in military -- "9th Circuit ruling throws 'don't ask, don't tell' battle into further disarray."
posted by ericb at 4:38 PM on October 20, 2010


Jinx, John Cohen ... you owe me Coke!
posted by ericb at 4:39 PM on October 20, 2010


Ted Olson: ‘It Would Be Appropriate’ For Administration Not To Appeal DADT Injunction.
posted by ericb at 9:34 AM on October 21, 2010


How to Really End ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, NY Times Op-Ed by Walter Dellinger, head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel from 1993 to 1996 and Acting Solicitor General of the United States from 1996-1997.
posted by atomicstone at 9:42 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ted Olson: ‘It Would Be Appropriate’ For Administration Not To Appeal DADT Injunction.

How to Really End ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, NY Times Op-Ed by Walter Dellinger, head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel from 1993 to 1996 and Acting Solicitor General of the United States from 1996-1997.


Well, well, well. Two former Solicitors General, two contradictory opinions. And they would know!
posted by mr_roboto at 12:42 PM on October 21, 2010


Why Holder Defends DADT
posted by homunculus at 12:52 PM on October 21, 2010


New Guidance on DADT: Discharges to Require Higher Approval
Until further notice, pursuant to a memorandum from Defense Secretary Robert Gates and a follow-up memorandum from Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford Stanley, no service member can be discharged under DADT without the ''personal approval of the secretary of the military department concerned, and only in coordination with me and the General Counsel of the Department of Defense.''

A senior defense department lawyer briefed reporters on Thursday afternoon about the memos, saying, ''These two memos are primarily in reaction to ... the temporary stay last night. We are clearly in a legally uncertain territory.''

When asked if the ''coordination'' required would allow Johnson or Stanley to effectively ''veto'' the decision of a service secretary, the lawyer said that that is not the case. He said that the purpose of the change was ''to ensure greater uniformity and care in the enforcement of the law.''
posted by ericb at 2:50 PM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Log Cabin Republicans File Brief Opposing DOJ's Request for Stay of DADT Injunction.
posted by ericb at 3:35 PM on October 25, 2010


HRC Sends Letter to Obama Saying DADT Must End This Year.
Dear Mr. President:

Years from now, students of the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality (LGBT) will no doubt see this fall as a pivotal period in the history of our struggle for fundamental fairness. In January, we were all inspired by your State of the Union pledge to end our nation’s discriminatory ban on open service by gays and lesbians. Equally inspiring was the testimony in support of repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law by the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We have come so far, but the only true measure of success is whether the thousands of brave gay and lesbian Americans who are serving their country, and the many more who want to serve their country, can do so openly and honestly. We have not yet met that goal, and without your leadership and unparalleled efforts, this historic opportunity to remove a stain of discrimination from our nation will pass all of us by.

Last week, lawyers for your administration asked for an emergency stay from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, seeking to end a worldwide injunction of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law while they work to overturn a federal judge’s conclusion that this law – one that you have called discriminatory and contrary to our national security on many occasions – offends the protections of our Constitution. I continue to struggle with how your administration can defend a law you oppose, and how it could be even remotely constitutional for a statute to single out one group of brave Americans, because of who they are and who they love, and order them serve in silence and deception. How can our government have a duty to defend a statute that is clearly so contrary to our Constitution’s guarantee of equality for all?
posted by ericb at 3:38 PM on October 25, 2010


Angry gay voters could sway election.
posted by ericb at 3:39 PM on October 25, 2010


Inhumane impact of DOMA
posted by homunculus at 1:42 PM on October 26, 2010


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