CALIFORNIA: Judge Agrees To Hear Log Cabin Republicans' DADT Challenge
A district court judge in California has agreed to hear the Log Cabin Republican's challenge to DADT.
Lawyer Dan Woods says U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips in Riverside, Calif. agreed Monday to send the case to trial July 13. Woods is representing the Log Cabin Republicans, a group rights group. He says the group hopes to end the 1993 policy by having it declared unconstitutional. If the group wins, Woods says it could set a precedent for the entire nation. The Obama administration supports the drive to repeal the ban but faces a tough road ahead in the full Senate, where Republicans are likely to filibuster it.The big question now is how vigorously the Obama administration will defend itself against the suit.
Because the suit is a "facial challenge" against the entire policy, rather than against its application to anyone in particular, the only evidence that matters, the Justice Department says, is the evidence before Congress when it passed the law in 1993. And because Congress "could have rationally determined" that a ban on openly gay or lesbian soldiers would maintain military effectiveness by protecting privacy and reducing sexual tension, the department says, there's no need for testimony from witnesses about whether lawmakers acted wisely.(Via - The Advocate)
But that argument might not fly because Judge Phillips has already said she's inclined to hold the government to a higher standard, an issue she also plans to address at Monday's hearing. That standard would require the Justice Department to prove that don't ask, don't tell serves some legitimate public purpose in today's military. It might be an uncomfortable task for an administration whose leader has publicly called the policy unfair and discriminatory and wants it repealed.