CommunityPam's House Blend

AC360 discusses DADT with Lt. Dan Choi & Alexander Nicholson; Obama DOJ requests emergency stay

Last night Anderson Cooper spoke with friends of the Blend Lt. Dan Choi & Alexander Nicholson of Servicemembers United about the developments on the DADT front, including Dan’s re-enlistment. They did a fantastic job. Jeffrey Toobin, CNN’s legal analyst, is also on hand.

And in the latest news (CNN):

Obama requests emergency stay of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ order

Finding itself in a strange legal position, the Obama administration filed an emergency request Wednesday with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to stop the military from allowing openly gay troops from serving.

In effect, the administration wants to continue barring gays from the military even though it ultimately favors repealing the policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

“They are in a very bizarre position, frankly of their own making,” said CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

In court documents filed in San Francisco, California, the administration argued that don’t ask, don’t tell should remain intact for now.

The administration argued that changing it abruptly “risks causing significant immediate harm to the military and its efforts to be prepared to implement an orderly repeal of the statute.”

…The Log Cabin Republicans, plaintiffs in the case that Phillips ruled on, said Wednesday that the group remained fully committed to defending this worldwide injunction because it is what is best for all service members.

“It respects their fundamental constitutional rights,” said Christian Berle, deputy executive director of the group. “We’ll continue to defend this ruling all the way to the United States Supreme Court if necessary.”

In related news, Rep. Barney Frank issued this statement about DADT:

Two things that were always true about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” have become even more important. First, President Obama made a mistake in appealing the decision of Judge Phillips, ruling it unconstitutional. While presidents do have the obligation to defend even laws they dislike, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has already been repudiated as bad policy by the President himself, by a decisive majority of the House and by a Senate majority just short of the votes necessary to break a filibuster. But the continued uncertainty about the injunction, the appeal of the injunction, and the appeal itself underline the need for the Senate to act in November to complete the repeal process. The President must use every available tool he has to press the Senate to do this.

Additionally, if a solid Republican block – against all logic — successfully filibusters repeal, the President should reconsider the decision to appeal and should also state clearly that any member of the military who acts in accord with the injunction against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will remain protected against any disciplinary action in the future. While the President does not have the authority unilaterally to repeal a statute, he clearly has the discretion to order that no subsequent retroactive application of the policy be imposed.

If the President takes a strong lead in getting the Senate to pass the bill repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” he will be able to take great pride in having helped abolish this egregious policy of discrimination.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding