Supreme Court Allows DADT, For Now

Justices uphold federal appeals court’s ruling that military may enforce DADT pending outcome of DOJ’s appeal

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the military can continue to enforce “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” while a federal court considers the Department of Justice’s appeal of an earlier decision striking down the ban.


The Supreme Court Justices neglected to comment in their denial of a request by the Log Cabin Republicans to reinstate an injunction on DADT resulting from federal district judge Virginia A. Phillips’ ruling that found the anti-gay policy unconstitutional. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, however, later ordered that the Pentagon may continue enforcing the ban on openly gay service members while the federal government prepares its appeal to Phillips’ ruling. The Supreme Court’s decision on Friday affirmed that of the lower court.

“Log Cabin Republicans are disappointed that the Supreme Court decided to maintain the status quo with regards to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ but we are not surprised,” said the R. Clarke Cooper, the LGBT organization’s executive director.

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, noted that the ruling, “underscores the need for Senate action to repeal ‘Don’t Ask’ in the lame-duck session.”


Justice Elena Kagan, the Supreme Court’s most recent member, took no part in the consideration of Friday’s decision by the Supreme Court. Kagan may have recused herself because she was previously involved in the case while serving as solicitor general—the Obama administration’s chief lawyer— before she became a justice.



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