Monday, July 11, 2011

9th Circuit Court Orders Government To Clarify Its Position On DADT

Last week the 9th Circuit Court ordered to the government to immediately stop its enforcement of the near-dead Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy preventing LGBTs from serving openly in the armed forces.  This week the court showed once again that they're not afraid to bust balls for equality and gave the government 10 days to defend the policy's constitutionality in court.

While the order is unsigned and it's not clear if the same three justices are the ones now giving DoJ a deadline to clarify their position, the message is clear: stop fucking around, guys.  Are you repealing this or not?

From the AP:

"The three-judge merits panel of the 9th Circuit said after reviewing briefs from both parties in the case, that it appears the United States is not prepared to defend the policy's constitutionality.

"The order was not signed by the judges and it was not known if the three jurists were the same justices who ruled last week on stopping the policy's enforcement.

"Log Cabin Republicans attorney Dan Woods said the court is forcing the government to take a stand on the issue.

"'The government has been trying to have it both ways and now the government is not going to be allowed to have it both ways anymore,' Woods said. 'The court is saying either fish or cut bait.'

"DOJ officials could not be immediately reached for comment."

I think this is a great development.  For far too long the administration and its affiliated departments have been far too unclear on its "fierce advocacy."  This move is going to force the government to come down on either side of the issue.  That said, I have no doubt that DoJ-- what with recent memos bemoaning
the government's role in oppressing gay people-- will refuse to defend the policy.  If it does, it would be a huge misstep for the administration's message as our "fierce advocate."

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