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by Vault Law Editors | October 14, 2010


See update below

•   On September 9, 2010, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips of Riverside, Calif., declared the 1993 law prohibiting openly gay men and women from serving in the military unconstitutional.

•   On October 12, 2010, Judge Phillips went two steps further, 1) enjoining the military from enforcing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban, and 2) ordering the government to “suspend and discontinue” any investigation, discharge or proceeding commenced under the act prior to issuance of her order.

•   On October 14, 2010, President Obama assured a group of young adults that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would end on his watch but said that it is up to Congress to repeal.

•   On October 14, 2010, the New York Times reported that a sailor who had been discharged under DADT tried to reenlist and was turned away. White & Case attorney Dan Woods, who represents the Log Cabin Republicans, the gay-rights group that brought the lawsuit leading to the law’s overturn, wrote a letter to the DOJ, questioning their compliance with the court’s order. [hat tip: WSJ Law Blog]

•   On October 14, 2010, the Justice Department moved to delay the effect of Judge Phillips’ ruling pending possible appeal.

The consensus seems to be that the administration will in fact appeal, bringing the case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, where its fate is “anyone’s guess.” Regardless of what happens next, many celebrate the ruling as “a significant milestone for gay rights in the United States.”

Read Judge Phillips’ opinion and injunction.

Compare some legal perspectives on the ruling (WSJ Law Blog).

For background on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and the Obama administration’s approach to its repeal, check out the New York Times’ coverage.

Updated October 20, 2010:

•   On October 19, 2010, Judge Phillips rejected the DOJ’s motion for a stay pending appeal.

•   On October 19, 2010, the Pentagon issued new instructions to military recruiters to allow openly gay and lesbian applicants.

•   On October 20, 2010, the Justice Department asked the Ninth Circuit to stay Judge Phillips’ ruling pending appeal. The appeals court granted a temporary stay and gave the plaintiffs until Monday, October 25, to oppose the government's request for a broader stay of the injunction pending appeal.

- posted by vera


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