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Justice Department files motion to keep ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in effect, for now

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Obama administration on Thursday asked a federal appeals court to reconsider an order that requires the immediate end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the policy banning gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

In its motion — filed in response to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to lift its stay of a lower court’s ruling last year that found the ban unconstitutional — the Justice Department urged the court to issue a decision by the end of the day Friday.

Instead of seeking relief from the Supreme Court, the Justice Department is asking the U.S. Court of Appeals to reconsider its July 6 order which found that changes in the legal landscape weighed in favor of reimposing the ban issued by a federal district court in California last year.

The appeals judges cited the Obama administration’s conclusion earlier this year that federal actions based on sexual orientation should get heightened scrutiny in court and the fact that the administration was not arguing that the 1993 law imposing “don’t ask, don’t tell” was constitutional.

“The Department has filed a motion asking the Ninth Circuit to reconsider its order lifting the stay of the injunction on the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy to avoid short-circuiting the repeal process established by Congress during the final stages of the implementation of the repeal,” Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said in a statement Thursday night.

Justice Department lawyers said 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 President Obama in December.

On July 6, the court ordered the U.S. government to immediately halt enforcement of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell;” the Pentagon subsequently said it would comply with the order.

“At SLDN, we are frustrated by this last-minute filing, which could well add more delay and confusion for service members. These developments only serve to underscore the need for immediate certification and finality.” said Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis, in a statement.

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24 more reader comments:

  1. two steps forward, one step back…

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 9:46am
  2. umm 1 step forward, 2 steps back????

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 9:47am
  3. will we ever win?

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 9:48am
  4. will we ever win?

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 9:49am
  5. Thanks. Anyone else not ready for the barrage of attempts to win us over from the Obama administration come 2012?

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 9:51am
  6. I don’t understand OBAMA anymore.

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 9:52am
  7. That stupid policy should abide by its name….Dont Ask, Dont Tell……means none of your f*cking business. Hetero, homo, whoever….the military needs to stay the f out of the bedroom.

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 9:52am
  8. I don’t know why the politicians, who are better at it than anybody, don’t want to legalize prostitution. I am done. No more money or support for either major Party.

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 9:54am
  9. F*CK Obama! How long do WE have to sit in the back of the bus?

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 9:55am
  10. I don’t even know why we’d want to fight for a country that won’t even give us this simple freedom…

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 10:01am
  11. BUtt heads!!!

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 10:02am
  12. Hillary needs to run !!

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 10:19am
  13. Obama is pissing all over the LGBT community, and the GOP’s have been doing that since day 1. Anyone else not voting this upcoming election?

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 10:24am
  14. Will they make up their minds already?

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 11:10am
  15. Damn Obama. You fucking up. You promise us change and you make it for the worst…Wtf brah?

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 11:13am
  16. This is just getting ridiculous. So much for an evolving viewpoint of LGBTIQQA issues.

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 11:43am
  17. Im sooooooo confused.

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 11:45am
  18. Damn it, Obama. I love you, but this relationship isn’t going well.

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 11:54am
  19. Dammit, Justice Department.

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 12:38pm
  20. I used to be in the US Navy back in 2003-2004. That was about the time that I started feeling that I was tired of living a lie and I wanted to come out. I started making it known to my command that I was gay. My CO got word of this and ordered me not to tell anyone else and he also ordered all the people I told not to tell anyone else about this. Needless to say at this point I was very pissed off. That was when I first started actually hating being in America. I was no longer willing to die for my country. Then I tried to get out from that point on. The way I finally got out was be falling a drug test. They gave me an other than honorable discharge, but I told them I did not care about it, I just wanted out. I no longer am in America and have no urge to go back. I like the way Canada is and plan on staying. If America ever wants me back they will start treating everyone equal and stop all this stupid bullshit. America is not the best country in the world and it is an illusion that you are free.

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 1:12pm
  21. Wow..right after they just put this into effect, that’s so ridiculous. I like president Obama better than, the other republicans and I think they have a better chance of getting gay right’s legislation passed but, this is ridiculous….

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 1:30pm
  22. @Sherri
    “I like president Obama better than the other republicans…” Priceless.

    Overall, I can understand the sentiment of an orderly retreat and removal, rather than an abrupt one, but that’s when it doesn’t involve destroyed lives and careers. Any injustice, particularly an illegal one (and if it is unConstitutional it must be illegal, right?) needs to be righted IMMEDIATELY, not over a long drawn out period of adjustment for those pining for their discriminatory practices.

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 7:18pm
  23. it seems to me that they are doing thier best to hold off any change to this law…obama will not be re-elected and everyone knows it…maybe we will finally get someone in the house that takes action to the promises they make? i guess it’s just wishful thinking.

    Posted on Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 7:59am
  24. Nope, Beck. If Obama is NOT re-elected you can bet your last dollar that “Don’t Ask” will be right back in place and fortified. Obama will never fight for us, or even work for us. He just won’t get in our way and that’s the best we’ve ever gotten out of any President in the past and none on the horizon look any better. Obama will be the only Democratic candidate for President and all Republicans are sworn to overturn any progress we’ve made and refuse to allow any new progress for us on pain of being thrown out of their party.

    Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 8:55pm