DADT Dies In 19 Days, So Why Are The Log Cabin Republicans Still Battling DADT In Court?

On September 20th the 18-year military ban on homosexuals known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will finally get the boot. But that hasn’t stopped the Log Cabin Republicans from trying to get the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to declare the law unconstitutional as well. Why do they bother? Well, the one of their reasons rhymes with “Michele Bachmann.”

If elected President, Mrs. Bachmann has promised to re-instate “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” But if a federal court declares the law “unconstitutional,” then it would prohibit any future leader of the U.S. from instating an anti-gay military ban because it would violate, y’know, the U.S. Constitution.

Also Log Cabin Republican attorney Dan Woods says that “declaring the law unconstitutional would also provide a legal path for thousands discharged under the policy to seek reinstatement, back pay or other compensation for having their careers cut short.”

The real question then becomes why Obama’s Department of Justice is trying to have the case thrown out. The DOJ says it’s because the September 20th repeal should render the case moot. But we says it’s probably because Obama doesn’t want the headache of dealing with the over 14,500 service members discharged over the anti-gay law.

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  • MiKem

    Cheers to the Log Cabin Republicans holding the line against this bigotry.
    Jeers to the Obama Administratin who consistenly shirks it dutes of “equal protection under the law”

  • Mav

    Once this goes into full effect, sign me up. I got a commendation for the U.S. Air Force Academy and had to turn it down because of DADT. Gays and lesbians are some of the most talented and dedicated soldiers in the U.S. armed forces.

    And they’ve been an intrinsic part of Western military history for a lot, lot, lot, lot longer than that.

  • the crustybastard

    I’ve been making this point ever since everybody started cheering the “legislative repeal.”

    Not only would a court decision create an avenue to compensate all those unfairly and unjustifiably expelled from the military and denied earned benefits, a court decision nullifying the ban would not permit the level of continued discrimination against those still serving that the legislative “repeal” law requires.

    Moreover, an appellate decision holding the gay ban facially unconstitutional has important precedential value for other cases challenging other antigay legislation.

    Cynically appealing our astounding and monumental district court victory to buy time to allow the legislative repeal to render that victory moot is a devastating loss and another thing I cannot — and will not — forgive Obama for.

  • tjr101

    Ah, not just Bachmann but all GOP candidates promise to reinstate DADT.

  • Riker

    @tjr101: Not all, thank you very much.

  • CJ

    Ending DADT just puts us back to pre-Clinton days when discrimination was permitted via Executive Order or via the Pentagon/military. Repealing DADT did NOT add any LGBT protections. I’m not sure why it’s taken this long for people to finally realize this. What is unfortunate is that Obama is fighting it. For the Log Cabin Republicans to fight this… they are fighting a battle we should all support.

  • Cam

    They removed any language in the DADT repeal that actually outlawed anti-gay bigotry. So while the policy will be gone, there is nothing technically there protecting gays from discrimination if the military decides to “Change it’s mind”.

  • tjr101

    @Queer Supremacist: Um, one who actually has a chance!

  • Steve

    A Federal district court has already declared DADT unconstitutional. The present appeal is an appeal to the circuit court. The declaration that a statute is unconstitutional is routinely appealed, for technical reasons. The District court decisions has effect only in that district. A circuit court decision sets up an appeal to the Supreme Court for a binding precedent to be made.

    The case is not moot until all people who were harmed are made whole. Back-pay, benefits, honorable discharge, retirement, etc., have not yet been offered, and no settlement has been agreed, so the case is not moot.

  • the crustybastard


    1. Don’t excuse the Obama administration’s appeal as a technicality.

    The Obama Administration defended a law that was indefensible (as usual). They lost. They should have shrugged and said, “well, we tried to defend an act of Congress, but we’re actually pleased with the outcome, because we believe it’s in line with the Constitution and our own policy position.”

    They could have chosen to be bound by that decision that but they didn’t.

    Instead, they appealed and demanded an emergency injunction, then also insisted SCOTUS vacate the court’s decision (an invitation SCOTUS declined).

    In doing so, the Obama Administration UNDERMINED the court’s holding, screwing gay people again, prolonging the imposition of an unjust and unconstitutional law, allowing it to continue to do harm.

    What’s more, the appeal also opened the door for the decision to be completely overturned, nullifying our win.

    2. What is the “technical reason” the Obama administration appealed? Seriously, what?

    The factual reason the Obama administration appealed, as I said above, was to buy time for his legislative “repeal”; which offers no antidiscrimination provisions, which continues to compel gay servicemembers to work the same jobs as their colleagues for fewer benefits, and which forecloses and legal route for redress.

    3. You are also wrong about the effect of district court decisions. The 10 USC §654 was held FACIALLY unconstitutional by the district court, and the injunction against enforcing the unconstitutional law was WORLDWIDE.

    4. As I said above, the legislative repeal forecloses the possibility that any individual injured by the law can sue to be made whole. You do understand what “no private cause of action” means, right? The minute the legislative repeal is enacted, the courthouse doors are closed. Read the text of the repeal.

  • IzzyLuna

    Because it’s not over. Gay military peeps still don’t get benefits that other married military peeps do because the military only recognizes marriage depending on the state. So, now these LGBT military people are second class soldiers.

  • Brutus

    It is moot. There is no longer a case or controversy because the underlying law no longer exists. Thus there is no longer any judicial power to render a decision.

Comments are closed.