Saturday, July 16, 2011

9th Circuit Court Rules to Partially Reinstate DADT

A three judge panel ruled on the Justice Department's request to lift the stay on enforcement of Don't Ask, Don't Tell late on Friday. Attempting to satisfy both the government's desire to let the repeal and certification  process move forward legislatively and Log Cabin Republicans' request to get it over with, the court decided on a compromise, ordering the Pentagon to cease and desist all investigations, penalties and discharges under the anti-gay 1996 law, but putting a stop to new enlistments by openly gay and lesbian recruits.

The Court took issue with the government presenting evidence this time around that it did not present in the last appeal, which resulted in the lifting of the temporary stay. The new information is in regard to the implementation process of the DADT Repeal legislation passed in December. The court gave the government until Monday to explain itself. Metro Weekly reports:
The order from Chief Judge Alex Kozinski and Judges Kim Wardlaw and Richard Paez notes the additional information provided to the court in the government's most recent filing -- specifically, "the declaration of Major General Steven A. Hummer, Chief of Staff of the Repeal Implementation Team of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness; the representation that only one servicemember has been discharged under 10 U.S.C. § 654 since the passage of the Repeal Act; the representation that the Secretaries of the Military Departments, Chiefs of the Military Services, and Commanders of the Combatant Commands have recently submitted their written advice regarding the status of their preparation for repeal and ability to satisfy the certification standards set by Congress; and the representation that repeal certification will be presented to the President, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a matter of weeks, by the end of July or early in August."
In order to consider the impact of what it terms these "previously undisclosed facts," the court granted the temporary stay and put back in place the stay originally entered by the Ninth Circuit on November 1, 2010, "in all respects except one. The district court's judgment shall continue in effect insofar as it enjoins appellants from investigating, penalizing, or discharging anyone from the military pursuant to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy."
I take issue with a couple of things in Major General Hummer's statement. First of all, he's dead wrong about the number of discharges this year. The Advocate reported just three weeks ago that as of April 29, 2011, there have been a total of four Air Force personnel discharged since President Obama signed the DADT Repeal Act in December. All four airmen outed themselves in order to avoid fulfilling their enlistment obligations. This is all public knowledge. How could Hummer not know this?

But more importantly, I think it's hysterical that the guy overseeing the end to the ban on gays serving openly is named "Hummer". It could only be better if his initials were B.J.

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