The Department of Justice has kindly asked the judge overseeing Log Cabin Republicans vs. the United States of America, the federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, to halt proceedings because Congress is already working on a repeal. Sorry, no.
“Defendants urge this Court … to stay all further proceedings in this case because the political branches have taken concrete steps to facilitate repeal of the DADT statute,” DoJ writes in a brief. “In light of these developments, principles of constitutional avoidance and respect for the co-equal branches of government militate in favor of a stay of proceedings pending completion of the process already undertaken by the political branches. Indeed, this is particularly true where, as here, a plaintiff brings a facial constitutional challenge. Accordingly, the Court should await the outcome of the process in which the political branches are now engaged before deciding the constitutional question presented.”
What is it “they” say? Fool us once, shame on us; fool us twice, we’re coming for you motherfuckers?
The Obama administration’s attorneys have already whipped out all the stalling tactics in the book. This is just another one. And its entire premise is flawed: While Congress may be “working” on repealing the law, there is no guarantee it will actually happen. Such are the pitfalls of democracy!
Meanwhile, gay soldiers remain open to discharge under DADT, and a court ruling could, effectively, put an end to that — while lawmakers’ solution looks like it won’t be going down for another year or so, thanks to the compromise everyone has agreed to, and nothing there is capital-c Certain.
The unconstitutional law remains the law of the land. Until that is any different, the lawsuit seeking to kill it should proceed.