Breaking: Supreme Court refuses to stop enforcement of DADT

Not that this should come as much of a surprise, but the Supreme Court ruled moments ago that it would not stop the US military from enforcing “don’t ask, don’t tell” while appeals of a district court decision proceed:

The Supreme Court is refusing to block enforcement of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military while a federal appeals court considers the issue.

The court on Friday denied a request from the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights group, to step into the ongoing federal court review of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” The Obama administration urged the high court not to get involved at this point.

As I wrote when the 9th Circuit applied an injunction that prevented the court’s ruling on DADT constitutionality from being enforced, a later reversal could have deep ramifications for all concerned.   Service members who revealed their orientation might put themselves in position for expulsion if the Supreme Court eventually overturned the ruling.  The military would have had a monumental headache in dealing with openly gay recruits who enlisted during that period of time if DADT was upheld — and without any action from Congress, the Pentagon would have been legally obligated to enforce those consequences.

But probably not for long.  The report from the Pentagon on DADT will be released on December 1, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates has already begun laying the groundwork for its repeal.  If the lame-duck Congress doesn’t dismantle it, the 112th Session will, especially if the Pentagon backs the move.  This court case will likely be moot before the Supreme Court reviews it in full.