Monday, July 18, 2011

9th Circuit Court Is Kinda The Administration's Bitch

The 9th Circuit Court was kinda my hero last week, so imagine my dismay when they got totally zero over the weekend and weakened their own injunction against DADT at the request of the government.

The administration filed an emergency motion asking the court to reverse its decision, with Justice Department lawyers stating that halting gay discharges at this juncture would inappropriately interfere with the orderly repeal of the discriminatory policy.

"Justice Department lawyers said in Thursday's motion that ending the ban now would pre-empt the 'orderly process' for rolling back the 17-year-old policy as outlined in the law passed and signed by the president in December.

"Congress made quite clear that it believed the terms of the transition were critical to the credibility and success of this historic policy change, and to ensure continued military effectiveness," according to a statement from the Justice Department.

"'Any court-ordered action forced upon the military services so close to the completion of this repeal policy pre-empts the deliberate process established by Congress and the President to ensure an orderly and successful transition of this significant policy change,' the department said."

Yes.  Any court-ordered action to stop gay discharges correctly pre-empts the slow-ass efforts to end discrimination against gay soldiers.  How do I read this?  Congress and the President slapping activists and advocates in the face, not to mention gays and lesbians currently seeking to serve.   

When I saw that particular headline, I expected the court to stand firm on the issue-- after all, what's the fucking point of taking a firm stance against discrimination if you're going to cave because the administration gets persnickety?  Well, I was sadly very very wrong, as the court weakened their position by saying that while currently serving servicemembers would be protected from investigation and discharge, gay applicants could continue to be turned away.

"The order from Chief Judge Alex Kozinski and Judges Kim Wardlaw and Richard Paez notes the additional information provided to the court in the government's most recent filing -- specifically, 'the declaration of Major General Steven A. Hummer, Chief of Staff of the Repeal Implementation Team of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness; the representation that only one servicemember has been discharged under 10 U.S.C. § 654 since the passage of the Repeal Act; the representation that the Secretaries of the Military Departments, Chiefs of the Military Services, and Commanders of the Combatant Commands have recently submitted their written advice regarding the status of their preparation for repeal and ability to satisfy the certification standards set by Congress; and the representation that repeal certification will be presented to the President, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a matter of weeks, by the end of July or early in August.'"

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