Decision in Witt’s DADT trial expected on Friday

I haven’t given Major Margaret Witt’s trial the attention it deserved over the past week and a half. The trial wrapped up yesterday — and a decision is expected on Friday. The decision in Witt’s case in the Ninth Circuit redefined the standard for discharge under DADT. In short, the new standard is not whether the servicemember is gay, it’s now whether the gay person’s discharge had an impact on military readiness. The burden is on the government to prove a gay person’s presence impacted the unit. The judge will decide if the government has met its burden:

A lawyer for a decorated flight nurse discharged for being gay urged a federal judge Tuesday to reinstate her to the Air Force Reserve, and the judge indicated he might have no other choice.

U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said he would issue a ruling Friday in the closely watched case of former Maj. Margaret Witt. As her trial closed, he expressed strong doubts about government arguments seeking to have her dismissal upheld.

This will give the DOJ another opportunity to appeal a DADT lawsuit — and, if they lose, you know they will.


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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