Thursday, July 1, 2010

Choi and Pietrangelo Subpoena Obama in Civil Trial

Ben Smith of reports that Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo are resorting to an unusual defense in their civil misdemeanor trial stemming from their arrest for handcuffing themselves to the White House fence earlier this year in a protest against Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The two claim they were just following orders -- The President's orders. Choi, the former GetEqual poster boy, and Pietrangelo have subpoenaed the president to testify at their trial.

Choi and GetEqual parted company when Choi launched his hunger strike in the spring. GetEqual did not approve of the strike.

The gay soldiers arrested outside the White House protesting "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" will annouce today that they're demanding that President Obama testify in their trial on minor civil disobedience charges.

Their novel argument: Obama himself called on gay rights advocates to pressure him, so they were just following orders.

"Don't Ask" has energized gay rights activists frustrated with the White House's deliberate pace, even as Democratic leaders are frustrated with continued protests, as repeal is on track for next year.

The subpoena in the defense of Lieutenant Dan Choi and Captain James Pietrangelo’s

As the advisory puts it,

The subpoena seeks to compel the testimony of President Barack Obama who has, on several occasions as President and Commander in Chief (and previously as a Senator and Presidential Candidate) called on the LGBT community to "pressure" him to change the DADT law and policy, thus allowing gay service members to serve their country openly and honorably.

The subpoena of the President is necessary for the defense to prove that Defendants were following and obeying lawful orders or directives by their President and Commander in Chief, and were therefore under an obligation and authority to act as they did in order to pressure him - in a non-violent, visible way - on this important public issue. In addition, these statements support the contention that Defendants were acting out of necessity, in order to prevent discrimination and greater harm to gay service members now serving.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep comments relevant and civil. Comments attacking other people will be deleted.

Subscribe in a reader