Court Sets Date for Trial to Strike-Down 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
Justice Department Asserts that Recent Statements by President in Support of Repealing 'DADT' Law Has Had Zero Impact on Actual Position Of U.S. Government
(Los Angeles, CA) – In a ruling delivered on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday, U.S. Federal Court Judge Virginia Phillips handed Log Cabin Republicans a major legal victory by denying the Obama Administration Justice Department's last-minute appeal, which sought to stay proceedings and block discovery in the leading federal case challenging the discriminatory 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy.
Barring any kind of extraordinary tactics the Obama Justice Department may try to use to derail this case, the trial is scheduled to begin in June 2010.
"This decision comes at such an appropriate time of the year, as Americans come together to give thanks for all America has been blessed with and continue to keep our service members in their thoughts and prayers," said Log Cabin Republicans National Board Chairman Terry W. Hamilton. Log Cabin will remain ever vigilant in our challenge to this discriminatory and dangerous policy that puts members of our Armed Forces at risk and goes against the very principles our military fights to protect. We are thankful that the Court saw through this contradictory attempt to derail our case, and we expect that the Government will comply with the orders of the Court, allowing us to conduct discovery without further obstruction or delay," added Hamilton.
Of note in this most recent communication from the Court, the order confirms that the government informed the Court that notwithstanding the President's and Congress' recent statements questioning "the continued wisdom" of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, "its instructions to defend the case had not changed." (pg. 5)
Log Cabin Republicans National Spokesperson Charles Moran commented, "As is clearly demonstrated in the words from the Government, the increased pro-LGBT rhetoric from President Obama and Democrat leaders in the Congress have resulted in zero change, either in spirit or substance. This is just one more example of President Obama and Democratic Congressional leadership being strong on rhetoric and weak on action."
The case in question, Log Cabin Republicans vs. the United States of America, is the first direct challenge to the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law filed in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas. It is also the only contemporary legal challenge to this law to succeed at the district court level. One of the injured parties named in the case, Alexander Nicholson, is a former U.S. Army Human Intelligence Collector who speaks multiple languages, including Arabic, and who was fired because of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law just six months after 9/11. Another injured party in the case, listed simply as 'John Doe' currently serves in the Armed Forces and would face a discharge if his identity were revealed.