Happy Friday from the Obama Administration:
The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Friday to pause enforcement of the military’s ban on openly gay and lesbian service members while that policy faces a legal challenge.
The high court sided against the Log Cabin Republicans, a GOP gay rights group, that had asked that discharges of gay and lesbian members of the armed forces under military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy be suspended.
The Supreme Court of the United States sided with Eric Holder’s Department of Justice and the Obama White House, and against the Log Cabin Republicans, letting the military’s unpopular and discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy stay in place while it is undergoing a legal challenge that is trundling through the Federal appeals process, after Judge Virgina A. Phillips of the Central District of CA ruled that DADT was unconstitutional on September 9, 2010.
On October 12th, Judge Phillips issued an injunction to suspend DADT and
(3) Orders Defendants United States of America and the Secretary of Defense immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding, that may have commenced under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Act, or pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 654 or its implementing regulations, on or prior to the date of this judgement.
That is where and when the Obama administration could have let the thing die, but, oh no, they have to go on appealing and defending it. On October 14, the DOJ under Eric Holder appealed with a request for an emergency stay on Judge Phillip’s injunction, and on November 1 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed it, pending appeal to the Supreme Court.
The policy change is currently stuck in the Fiscal Year 2011 Defense spending appropriations bill, and Senator John McCain of Arizona successfully filibustered it on September 21st. His wife Cindy McCain, and her daughter Meghan, are doing their usual good- cop Republican routine and calling for the policy to end. His 2008 Vice Presidential running mate is busy planning a book tour and promoting her new reality TV show on her twitter account. The first stop on the book tour is in …. Phoenix, AZ. A leaked draft of Gate’s review of DADT has shown that the report says repeal would not be detrimental to the military.
Some 70% of troops surveyed said the effects of repealing the ban would be positive, mixed or nonexistent, the paper said, citing a Pentagon report.
According to the newspaper, (the WAPO) which spoke to people who had read the unreleased 370-page study, the survey results have led the report’s authors to conclude that objections to openly gay colleagues would drop once troops were able to live and serve alongside them.
However, a significant minority opposes serving alongside openly gay troops, with opposition apparently strongest in the Marine Corps.
Currently the Marines have fewer active personnel (14%) than any other branch of the military except for the Coast Guard.
Nicholson’s response from Servicemembers United
“These results confirm what those of us who actually know the modern military, especially the rank and file troops, have said all along. The men and women of America’s armed forces are professionals who are capable of handling this policy change,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army Human Intelligence Collector who was discharged under the law in 2002. “In light of these findings, as well as the Secretary of Defense’s recent call for Senate action on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ during the lame duck session, there is no longer any excuse for failing to bring the defense authorization bill back up during the first week of the post-election legislative session.”
Since the Democratic Party took the House of Representatives in 2006, there have been over 2,000 discharges of servicemembers under the discriminatory DADT policy. Since the Clinton administration, there have been over 13,000. The Democrats now have a short window of time in a lame duck session to accomplish anything, before they can kiss their supermajorities goodbye. One of the political fatalities of the last election was Representative Patrick Murphy of PA, who introduced the amendment repealing DADT into the bill. In an interview, the President asked for assistance from the Log Cabin Republicans to get more Republican votes to get the bill changing the policy through the Senate (before the Nov 2, 2010 election). Secretary of Defense Robert Gate’s military review report on DADT is “due” out officially now on December 1st. The lame duck session will begin next week.
Apparently there is an (unspoken) assumption being made, that if a conservative, Republican dominated Senate passes something the Supreme Court will not rule to over turn the law or declare it unconstitutional later.