Obama did have choices on the DADT case: ‘not appealing is neither risky nor out of the ordinary’

Yesterday, we posted the video of Valerie Jarrett’s response to Dan Choi. She was wrong on several counts — including whether Obama has to appeal the DADT decision. Jarrett claimed he had “no choice.” They’re trying to make this sound so simple it’s not. And, of course, they’ve been abetted by the usual cast of apologists, comprised on job-seekers (even the ones who didn’t get jobs), lobbyists and other suck ups. But, legal scholars aren’t buying it.

Last night, in response to the Jarrett interview, Mike Signorile posted his interview from Wedensday with Diane Mazur. She was quoted in the Newsweek article, which stated, “‘Most experts in constitutional and military law say he has other options.” Jarrett was flat out wrong. Other options means he did have choices. Here’s Mike’s synopsis. Listen to the audio:

One of those respected constitutional military legal experts who’s been quoted in the press in recent days is Diane Mazur, a former Air Force officer who is a law professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. In an interview on the show on Wednesday, Mazur told me that President Obama is on much more solid ground in not appealing this decision than even Bill Clinton was when he decided that the ban on people with HIV in the military was unconstitutional and refused to defend it. In Mazur’s legal analysis, not appealing is neither risky nor out of the ordinary. As Ted Olson said, it’s actually “appropriate.” We also talked about how the president could end the discharges now and the options he has had all along. Listen in to the audio clip, and also watch Dan Choi and Valerie Jarrett on CNN.

This is maddening. And, the White House has made such a mess of the DADT issue.


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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