Log Cabin Republicans File Briefs with Ninth Circuit to Reinstate Injunction Against 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans continues to fight against enforcement of discriminator 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, today presenting arguments in opposition to the Obama administration's recent request for a stay. Enforcement of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' was halted for eight days after Log Cabin's victory at trial last September, only to be temporarily reinstated when the Department of Justice was granted a temporary emergency stay.
"In its latest appeal, the Obama Administration is putting paperwork ahead of the fundamental constitutional rights of servicemembers," said R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of Log Cabin Republicans. "This is just another in a long line of delay tactics from a President who has not missed an opportunity to defend this policy in court. As was articulated last week by former United States Solicitor General Ted Olson, the Department of Justice is not obligated to appeal this ruling. Thanks to this injunction, the Pentagon successfully suspended discharges and ended discrimination in recruitment without incident, proving that the United States military is ready and able to implement open service. There is no reason to make our armed forces spend another day enforcing an arbitrary, irrational policy that only undercuts unit cohesion and military readiness. We have faith that the Ninth Circuit, having had the chance to examine the trial record, will agree."
"We weren't surprised by the Ninth Circuit ruling granting the government a temporary stay, given the short amount of time the judges had to consider the case," said Dan Woods, White & Case partner who is representing Log Cabin Republicans in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America. "Now that the Court has had additional time to study the case and when it has the opportunity to consider the opposition brief we have filed today, we are cautiously optimistic that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will deny the government's motion for a stay of the injunction because the government has not met the factors required for a stay pending appeal. The government's motion does not show that the government is likely to prevail on the merits of the appeal and does not even attempt to refute the fact that the constitutional rights of current and prospective gay and lesbian servicemembers will continue to be violated during any stay. It remains sad and disappointing that the government seeks to continue to enforce 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' by its motion for a stay pending appeal, even as the President has repeatedly said that the policy 'weakens' our national security and recently said in a 'tweet' that he basically agrees with Judge Phillips's decision."
Log Cabin Republicans filed suit in federal district court against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in 2004. The case went to trial in Riverside, California in July of 2010, and Judge Virginia Phillips ruled on September 9, 2010 that the policy violated the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution.