Federal judge rules DADT unconstitutional

A federal judge in Riverside, California ruled the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy to be unconstitutional on Thursday, saying that DADT is a violation of the 1st Amendment rights of gay and lesbian soldiers. The ruling came from a case filed by the Log Cabin Republicans.
U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips said the policy banning gays did not preserve military readiness, contrary to what many supporters have argued, saying evidence shows that the policy in fact had a 'direct and deleterious effect' on the military.

Phillips said she would issue an injunction barring the government from enforcing the policy. However, the U.S. Department of Justice, which defended 'don't ask, don't tell' during a two-week trial in Riverside, will have an opportunity to appeal that decision.

The federal government is expected to appeal, and it is unclear what the status of DADT will be in the meantime. Judge Phillips has given the plaintiffs until September 16 to respond, and the Department of Justice must submit its objections by September 23.

LCR director R. Clarke Cooper: "As an American, a veteran and an Army reserve officer, I am proud the court ruled that the arcane 'don't ask, don't tell' statute violates the Constitution. Today, the ruling is not just a win for Log Cabin Republican service members, but all American service members."

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network: "We're pleased by the judge's decision, but this decision is likely to be appealed and will linger for years. Congress made the DADT law 17 years ago and Congress should repeal it. The Senate will have the opportunity to do just that this month and most Americans think the Senate should seize it."

VIDEO: Anderson Cooper discusses the ruling with Jeffrey Toobin

No comments:

Copyright © 2008 by Bent Alaska.