Obama Justice Department Disregards Irreparable Harm of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' to Servicemembers at Supreme Court
(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans' attorneys respond to the latest defense of the failed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' by the Department of Justice before the United States Supreme Court. This decision comes after the Ninth Circuit imposed a stay resurrecting the policy, which was declared unconstitutional in September.
"The way President Obama's Department of Justice downplays the irreparable harm done to servicemembers by 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is a slap in the face to gay and lesbian Americans who sacrifice to serve our nation," said R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of Log Cabin Republicans. "It is important to remember exactly what is at stake. This failed policy is unconstitutional because it deprives soldiers, sailors, airmen, coast guardsmen and marines the fundamental rights that all Americans hold dear, the exact same rights our armed forces defend with their lives. With the Democratic leadership in the White House and Senate refusing to make legislative repeal a priority, Log Cabin Republicans will continue to stand with our servicemembers to ensure they have their day in court."
"We have sought and received permission from the US Supreme Court to file this reply because the government's opposition ignores critical points presented in our application to vacate the stay of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals," said Dan Woods, White & Case partner who is representing Log Cabin Republicans. "The government's opposition fails on several points: It does not controvert Log Cabin's argument that legislative repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is speculative, it fails to analyze or discuss the hardships to current and prospective servicemembers of a stay, and it exaggerates what the district court's injunction does and does not require."
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. On October 12, 2010 Judge Phillips issued a worldwide, immediate and permanent injunction against enforcement of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."