DOJ asks judge to ‘defer ruling’ in DADT case because of legislation that hasn’t passed and doesn’t repeal the law

This is rich.

The Obama Department of Justice, which has aggressively defended the discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law is now arguing that a judge shouldn’t rule in a DADT because of the legislation currently working its way through Congress. The problem with that is, of course, that the legislation 1) hasn’t passed: 2) doesn’t repeal DADT; and 3) no one, not even the Obama DOJ, can say when the discharges will end. DOJ notes, “The House and Senate bills contain identical language and are attached hereto Exhibits 1 and 2, respectively, for the Court’s convenience and review.” But, that ignores the Senate floor process where we know opponents of repeal intend to offer killer amendments. This brief reads like something a first-year law student wrote.

I find it interesting that the DOJ argues that the court should defer ruling in a case when the DOJ chooses to defend laws like DADT and DOMA when it’s not absolutely necessary to defend those laws.

But, thats’s our DOJ at work:

Congress’s steps toward repeal of the ban on gays in the military should bring a halt to a federal lawsuit challenging the current policy, the Justice Department said in a legal brief filed Wednesday afternoon.

Though Congress has not yet passed a bill providing for conditional repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, government lawyers contend the prospect of such a measure’s passage should be sufficient for the courts to stay out of the issue.

“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,” the Justice Department wrote in a brief filed in a suit brought in California by the Log Cabin Republicans.

Amendments to repeal the policy contingent on a report from the Pentagon that such a repeal could be implemented without significant adverse impact on the force passed the floor of the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 27. (While the underlying defense bill also passed the House, the full Senate has not voted on either the amendment or its version of the underlying bill.)


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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