When the US Congress voted to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell there was still the lingering possibility that the policy could be reinstated or the repeal would get reversed. That possibility was removed on June 6th after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a permanent injunction against the law, in a case brought to the courts by the conservative Log Cabin Republicans. The law had originally been declared unconstitutional in October of 2010 before getting appealed.
“The ruling by the 9th Circuit in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States removes all uncertainty – American servicemembers are no longer under threat of discharge as the repeal implementation process goes forward,” said R. Clarke Cooper in a statement issued by Log Cabin.
Clarke Cooper told FrumForum that “The bottom line is that this is binding everywhere”. National Journal reports that the Pentagon has accepted the ruling and that the process of fully complying will be done in just “weeks”. The AP reports that their sources inside the Pentagon believe the ban will by fully lifted by September. Unless the White House appeals the ruling (which seems incredibly unlikely) DADT is now effectively dead.
Here is the full press release from Log Cabin Republicans:
(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans celebrate the decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate the permanent injunction against enforcement of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” originally awarded by Judge Virginia Phillips in the case of Log Cabin Republicans v. United States.
“The ruling by the 9th Circuit in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States removes all uncertainty – American servicemembers are no longer under threat of discharge as the repeal implementation process goes forward,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. “As a captain in the United States Army Reserve, I have observed the reactions of my colleagues to the Department of Defense’s move toward open service, and can say with complete confidence that our military is ready, willing and able to take this step. Log Cabin Republicans are proud of our role in ending this unconstitutional and un-American policy once and for all.”
“We are delighted with today’s Ninth Circuit ruling that reinstates the injunction that Judge Phillips entered last September against enforcement of DADT. This ruling vindicates the right of openly gay and lesbian individuals to enlist or serve in our armed forces,” said Dan Woods, White & Case partner who is representing Log Cabin Republicans. “We have been saying all along that the government had no legal basis for appealing Judge Phillips’s decision and injunction. The court’s ruling today finds that the government especially had no basis for putting that injunction on hold so that it could continue to investigate and discharge patriotic service members merely for their sexual orientation. This is a tremendous victory for the many Americans who want nothing more than to serve their country honorably and patriotically without regard to their sexual orientation, but the real winner here is our Constitution, which guarantees the rights of all Americans, gay and straight, whether serving in our armed forces or not.”
Log Cabin Republicans have maintained a three-front strategy against ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ lobbying for repeal in Congress, consulting with the Department of Defense, and filing suit in federal court. The case went to trial in July of 2010, and Judge Virginia Phillips ruled on September 9, 2010 that the policy violated the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution.