Federal court cases on DADT and DoMA move onward and upward

by on October 12, 2010  •  In DoMA, Military

In a three-page order that the NY Times called "a significant new milestone for gay rights in the United States," Judge Virginia Phillips has enjoined the Department of Defense from "enforcing or applying the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' Act and implementing regulations, against any person under their jurisdiction or command." The ruling, entered in Log Cabin Republicans v. U.S., also orders the Department to suspend any investigation or discharge proceeding already begun under DADT.

The Justice Department will almost certainly seek and obtain a stay of this injunction pending appeal.

Back on the other coast, Justice filed its notice of appeal in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, the constitutional challenge brought by GLAD to DoMA in federal court in Boston.  The Gill case is now before the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

Some voices in the community have castigated the Obama administration for defending the constitutionality of these statutes; I take a somewhat different view.  

Anyone interested in hearing these arguments about defending statutes play out can join a national conference call being sponsored by the American Constitution Society and the National LGBT Bar Association on "Don't Ask Don't Tell and the Duty to Defend." Along with me, the other participants will be Walter Dellinger, former acting SG, and Professor Neil Kinkopf, formerly with Office of Legal Counsel. It will take place next Monday the 18th from 12 noon to 1 pm EDT.  It's free; you can register here.


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