Last October when a District Court judge issued an injunction against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’s enforcement, the Department of Justice went to the Ninth Circuit for a stay pending appeal, basically granting permission for gay soldiers to continue being discharged under the anti-gay law. But today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted that stay basically nullifying DADT for the time being. Is this the first ding-dong of a bell signifying DADT’s death?
Now the Department of Defense must either appear in court on August 29th to appeal the decision or take the case to the Supreme Court, which it is unlikely to do. Some interpret the Ninth Circuit Court’s move as a response to the slow-as-hell certification process meant to ensure DADT’s eventual legislative repeal. Basically, the court has said “Obama and the heads of the military have taken too long resolving this issue, so the judicial branch must.”
While the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network still advises gay soldiers not to come out until there’s a final declarative on the matter, it’s interesting to note that the Ninth Circuit court referenced that awesome brief filed by the DOJ July 4th weekend calling DOMA a pointless law that does nothing more than continue America’s long history of institutionally discriminating against LGBTs on every level of government.
Does this mean that those soldiers looking to honorable discharges by voluntarily outing themselves will stay stuck in the system?