What next for DADT repeal?

by on October 1, 2010  •  In Congress, Military

How to salvage DADT repeal dominates lgbt issues in Washington, as what seems to me the longest midterm campaign season in history crawls toward resolution on election day. The next development will almost certainly be Judge Phillips' decision on the scope of the injunction she issues in the Log Cabin Republicans case.  My bet is that it will go beyond relief solely for LCR members, but that, no matter what she does, and regardless of a letter from members of Congress urging the administration to let the injunction take effect, Justice will appeal the decision.

The White House is still saying that repeal will be done in the lame duck session, not to worry. Widespread reaction: worry. Lead strategy of the moment seems to be for POTUS to issue an executive order stopping DADT discharges if legislation adopting the policy is not repealed.  Will he or won't he?  Does only Nancy Pelosi know for sure?  According to the Blade:

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday reiterated her prediction that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would be a memory by the year’s end — despite the failure of the Senate last week to move forward with repeal legislation — as she maintained the president has the ability to stop troop discharges without a change in law.

Asked by a reporter whether she’s spoken with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) about the Senate taking another shot at “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Pelosi replied, “That will be gone by executive — that will happen with or without Congress.”

“I don’t think it has to depend on whether it passes the Senate,” she continued. “The process will work its way through and the president will make his pronouncement.”

My best guess: when Sec. Gates receives the formal report from the service chiefs on December 1, the Senate logjam will break, or, if it does not, POTUS will act, either by issuing a stop-loss order or by adding a new procedural hurdle for the discharge process that will effectively shut down DADT.



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