Main | Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Ninth Circuit Ends DADT Enforcement

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously ordered the end of the enforcement of DADT for military forces worldwide. The ruling overturns the stay of an earlier such order by a lower court. Chris Geidner reports at Metro Weekly:
The three-judge panel -- Judges Alex Kozinski, Kim Wardlaw and Richard Paez -- based the decision to lift the appellate court's earlier stay of Phillips's order pending the appeal of the LCR case is based, the judges write, because, "The circumstances and balance of hardships have changed, and appellants/cross-appellees can no longer satisfy the demanding standard for issuance of a stay." Among the citations by the court is the July 1 filing in Karen Golinski's federal case seeking health insurance benefits for her wife and the related Feb. 23 letter from Attorney General Eric Holder declaring that he and President Barack Obama had decided that heightened scrutiny applies to classifications -- such as DADT. The judges also note that "the process of repealing Section 654 [-- the DADT law --] is well underway, and the preponderance of the armed forces are expected to have been trained by mid-summer."
Servicemembers United react:
"With the wait for certification dragging out beyond a reasonable time frame, the Court has once again stepped in to require the Pentagon to stop enforcing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' and this time it very well may be for good," said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the sole veteran plaintiff on the case. "I am proud to have worked personally worked with Log Cabin on this case for more than five years now and to have represented the gay military community as the sole named veteran on this lawsuit. Despite the criticisms and years of waiting, this case has yet again successfully eviscerated this outdated, harmful, and discriminatory law."

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