Constitutional Law

DOJ Seeks Stay of Judge's Ban on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Rule--But Wants to End Policy, Too


A lawyer for the group that successfully challenged the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gay and lesbian troops tells the Associated Press that the Obama administration plans to appeal and ask for a stay of the ruling later today.

And an unidentified government source confirmed the news from attorney Dan Woods, whose client, the Log Cabin Republicans, won Tuesday’s ruling, was notified by the Department of Justice that it plans to appeal.

However, a subsequent Federal Eye article in the Washington Post says the Obama administration wants to end the don’t ask, don’t tell policy, too–just not as abruptly as U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips required in the Southern California case. As of that point, the DOJ had sought a stay and confirmed that it plans to appeal.

A San Francisco Chronicle article says that an appeal of the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has already been made.

Meanwhile, unless and until a stay is granted, “the Department of Defense will of course obey the law,” a spokesman said in an e-mail to reporter, and the Pentagon “will abide by the terms in the court’s ruling, effective as of the time and date of the ruling.”

An earlier ABAJournal.com post details the ruling in the case earlier this week.

Additional coverage:

Dow Jones Newswires: “Obama: I Can’t Unilaterally End ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ “

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