Federal judge halts enforcement of “don’t ask, don’t tell” worldwide

posted at 4:52 pm on October 12, 2010 by Allahpundit

Not surprising. Remember, she’s already ruled that DADT is unconstitutional. The lingering question was whether it was unconstitutional only for the named plaintiffs in the case — i.e. the Log Cabin Republicans — or whether it’s unconstitutional for everyone. Surprise: “Unconstitutional” means unconstitutional.

A federal judge issued a worldwide injunction Tuesday stopping enforcement of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, ending the U.S. military’s 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops…

U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say they are under no legal obligation to do so and could let Phillips’ ruling stand…

“The order represents a complete and total victory for the Log Cabin Republicans and reaffirms the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians in the miltiary for fighting and dying for our country,” said Dan Woods, an attorney for the Log Cabin group.

Government attorneys objected, saying such an abrupt change might harm military operations in a time of war. They had asked Phillips to limit her ruling to the members of the Log Cabin Republicans, a 19,000-member group that includes current and former military service members.

Decision time for The One: Does he appeal or not? If he decides not to, he’ll undercut Gates’s insistence that no action should be taken on the policy until the Pentagon completes its review of the effects on readiness. If he does appeal, he’ll antagonize the lefties (especially young voters) whom he needs to turn out next month. The obvious solution is to punt and avoid a decision until after the election, but I’m not sure liberals will let him get away with that. What if the “professional left” mobilizes and demands a decision before November 2? Prediction: Heart-ache at the Pentagon.

Exit question: Is this actually a blessing in disguise for the GOP? We may well have a Republican majority in the Senate next year, and without this decision the survival of DADT would fall mainly on them. Their inclination will be to satisfy the social-con base and vote to keep it, but that would put them on the wrong side of public opinion (including Republican opinion) and would instantly destroy any chance of rapprochement with gay voters. The judge let them off the hook by taking the issue out of their hands. Abortion redux!


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