The judge in the Log Cabin Republican’s case against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has issued her ruling. DADT is unconstitutional:
A federal judge in Riverside declared the U.S. military’s ban on openly gay service members unconstitutional Thursday, saying the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy violates the 1st Amendment rights of lesbians and gay men.
U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips said the policy banning gays did not preserve military readiness, contrary to what many supporters have argued, saying evidence shows that the policy in fact had a “direct and deleterious effect’’ on the military.
Phillips issued an injunction barring the government from enforcing the policy. However, the U.S. Department of Justice, which defended “don’t ask, don’t tell” during a two-week trial in Riverside, will have an opportunity to appeal that decision.
Have to offer congrats to LCR. Wow.
And, is Obama’s DOJ, which lost this case, really going to appeal this ruling? Really.
Get this law off the books. It’s not only discriminatory. It’s unconstitutional.
UPDATE: The Judge ruled that DADT violates the First and Fifth amendments and the plaintiffs are entitled to a permanent injunction “barring its enforcement.” LCR has seven days to submit a “Proposed Judgment.” The DOJ will have seven days to submit its objections to that. Here’s an idea for Obama’s DOJ (maybe the DOJ’s so-called LGBT liaison Matt Nosanchuk can shop it around): Don’t object to the proposed judgment. Don’t ask for a stay of the judgment or the injunction. And don’t appeal this decision. Let DADT die.)
UPDATE 2: Here’s the statement from Servicemembers United’s Executive Director Alex Nicholson, one of the parties in the case:
“This is an historic moment and an historic ruling for the gay military community,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a multi-lingual U.S. Army interrogator who was discharged under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ “As the only named injured party in this case, I am exceedingly proud to have been able to represent all who have been impacted and had their lives ruined by this blatantly unconstitutional policy. We are finally on our way to vindication.”
Thank you, Alex Nicholson.
UPDATE 3: Statements from LCR and its lawyer:
R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director, Log Cabin Republicans & Liberty Education Forum
“As an American, a veteran and an Army reserve officer, I am proud the court ruled that the arcane Don’t Ask Don’t Tell statute violates the Constitution. Today, the ruling is not just a win for Log Cabin Republican servicemembers, but all American servicemembers.”
Dan Woods, White & Case partner who led the matter for Log Cabin Republicans
“We are delighted with the court’s ruling in favor of Log Cabin Republicans in this important case. The court’s opinion finds that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is unconstitutional, and the court will issue a permanent injunction preventing the government from further enforcement of this unconstitutional statute. This is a major victory in the fight for equality and means that military service will be available to all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation.”