it's over (graphic: umpqua)

Finding a way out of the unnecessary box created by judicial rulings and Justice Department appeals, military leaders will certify the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy tomorrow afternoon. This includes Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and all of the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Only the President’s certification would be needed at that point to start the 60-day legislative review clock that will ultimately lead to repeal of the policy.

The Joint Chiefs are signifying by this action that their training on implementation is complete:

Each member of the Joint Chiefs had to submit a recommendation to Secretary Panetta, indicating that they are far enough in their training to repeal DADT, and that it will not have an impact on military readiness.

The military actually already ended the policy a couple weeks ago, after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a stay of an injunction against DADT on the grounds that it’s unconstitutional. The military responded by putting a moratorium on all discharges of gay troops and even accepting applications from openly gay recruits. But the DoJ then filed an emergency brief with the Ninth Circuit to get the policy reinstated. The Ninth Circuit complied – but also, they barred the Pentagon from “investigating, penalizing, or discharging anyone from the military pursuant to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.” This effectively upheld the stay while claiming to have not.

The Pentagon had few options for maintaining the policy at that point, and they already were at the end of their implementation process. So tomorrow, they will certify.

I don’t understand why DoJ came in with that late appeal. The Administration obviously cares deeply about maintaining executive prerogative. But what’s the difference between them repealing when there’s a moratorium in place or not? It was a strange footnote to this process.

This was a long road, but ultimately, within 60 days, the military’s discriminatory policy against gays and lesbians will be a thing of the past.

Finding a way out of the unnecessary box created by judicial rulings and Justice Department appeals, military leaders will certify the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy tomorrow afternoon. This includes Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and all of the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Only the President’s certification would be needed at that point to start the 60-day legislative review clock that will ultimately lead to repeal of the policy.

The Joint Chiefs are signifying by this action that their training on implementation is complete:

Each member of the Joint Chiefs had to submit a recommendation to Secretary Panetta, indicating that they are far enough in their training to repeal DADT, and that it will not have an impact on military readiness.

The military actually already ended the policy a couple weeks ago, after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a stay of an injunction against DADT on the grounds that it’s unconstitutional. The military responded by putting a moratorium on all discharges of gay troops and even accepting applications from openly gay recruits. But the DoJ then filed an emergency brief with the Ninth Circuit to get the policy reinstated. The Ninth Circuit complied – but also, they barred the Pentagon from “investigating, penalizing, or discharging anyone from the military pursuant to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.” This effectively upheld the stay while claiming to have not.

The Pentagon had few options for maintaining the policy at that point, and they already were at the end of their implementation process. So tomorrow, they will certify.

I don’t understand why DoJ came in with that late appeal. The Administration obviously cares deeply about maintaining executive prerogative. But what’s the difference between them repealing when there’s a moratorium in place or not? It was a strange footnote to this process.

This was a long road, but ultimately, within 60 days, the military’s discriminatory policy against gays and lesbians will be a thing of the past.

David Dayen

David Dayen