Military Law

9th Circuit Bars Enforcement of 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell'

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A federal appeals panel has issued an order that bars the government from enforcing its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Court of Appeals acted on Wednesday in a case involving a constitutional challenge to the policy, report the New York Times and the Recorder.

A federal judge had found the don’t ask, don’t tell policy unconstitutional in October and barred enforcement. A month later the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the judge’s injunction, allowing the government to continue enforcing its policy. Yesterday’s order lifts the stay.

The appellate panel noted two changed circumstances since it issued the stay last November, the stories say.

First, a repeal of the policy is already under way. Second, the Obama administration took the position in a different case on Friday that sexual orientation classifications should be subject to heightened scrutiny. The other case involves a 9th Circuit staff lawyer seeking health insurance coverage for her wife, the Recorder reports.

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