SAN FRANCISCO—A three-judge panel on a federal appeals court on Wednesday temporarily granted the Obama Justice Department’s request for an “emergency stay” on a recent ruling that halted the enforcement of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Lawyers for the Log Cabin Republicans, plaintiffs in the case resulting in U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips’ issuing of the injunction against DADT, must file arguments by Monday as to why Phillips’ order should remain in effect.
The panel of federal appellate judges would then weigh whether to extend the temporary stay requested by the government while it considers the Justice Department’s appeal of the ruling by Phillips that found the anti-gay policy unconstitutional.
“We hope that the 9th Circuit will recognize the inherent contradiction in the government’s arguments for a longer stay in light of eight full days of non-enforcement with no ‘enormous consequences,'” said Alexander Nicholson, a plaintiff in the Log Cabin lawsuit.
The freeze on Phillips’ injunction barring the enforcement of DADT came just days after the Pentagon announced it has suspended discharges under the anti-gay policy and will allow openly gay men and lesbians to enlist in the military. How the Pentagon will proceed in light of the stay on the ruling remains unclear.
The temporary stay mires DADT—a law whose repeal most Americans favor, according to polling—in yet a deeper state of legal limbo as gay soldiers anxiously await the day when, as promised by the White House, they may serve their country openly, without question or consequence.