( Washington, DC ) Army Veteran and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network ( SLDN ) Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis issued the following statement on the decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today to reinstate the injunction on enforcement of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ( DADT ) law in the Log Cabin Republicans vs. United States case.
"Today's decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is most welcomed. It's the hope of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network that this favorable ruling will not be challenged by the Defense Department. In fact, this whole matter could have been avoided had we had certification back in the spring. It's time to get on with that important certification, end the DADT confusion for all service members, and put a final end to this misguided policy."
The following transaction was entered on 07/06/2011 at 12:02:13 PM PDT and filed on 07/06/2011 Case Name: Log Cabin Republicans v. USA, et al Case Number: 10-56634
Filed order ( ALEX KOZINSKI, KIM MCLANE WARDLAW and RICHARD A. PAEZ ) The Clerk shall amend the docket to reflect that Leon E. Panetta, Secretary of Defense, is substituted for Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense, as an appellant/cross-appellee. See Fed. R. App. P. 43 ( c ) ( 2 ) . Appellee/cross-appellants motion to lift this courts November 1, 2010, order granting a stay of the district courts judgment pending appeal is granted. See Hilton v. Braunskill, 481 U.S. 770, 776 ( 1987 ) ( stating standard ) ; Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1135 ( 9th Cir. 2011 ) ( same ) . In their briefs, appellants/cross-appellees do not contend that 10 U.S.C. - 654 is constitutional. In addition, in the context of the Defense of Marriage Act, 1 U.S.C. - 7, the United States has recently taken the position that classifications based on sexual orientation should be subjected to heightened scrutiny. See Golinski v. U.S. Office of Pers. Mgmt., No. C 3:10-00257-JSW ( N.D. Cal. ) ( Doc. 145, July 1, 2011 ) ( gay and lesbian individuals have suffered a long and significant history of purposeful discrimination ) ; Letter from Attorney General to Speaker of House of Representatives ( Feb. 23, 2011 ) ( there is, regrettably, a significant history of purposeful discrimination against gay and lesbian people, by governmental as well as private entities ) . Appellants/cross-appellees state that the process of repealing Section 654 is well underway, and the preponderance of the armed forces are expected to have been trained by mid-summer. The circumstances and balance of hardships have changed, and appellants/cross-appellees can no longer satisfy the demanding standard for issuance of a stay. Appellee/cross-appellants alternative request to expedite oral argument is granted. The Clerk shall calendar this case during the week of August 29, 2011, in Pasadena, California. Briefing is completed. [ 7809248 ] [ 10-56634, 10-56813 ] ( KD )
HRC statement on DADT Injunction
WASHINGTON Today a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit re-instituted an injunction barring the military from enforcing the ban on openly lesbian, gay and bisexual service members. The court concluded that, with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal being implemented and certification of the new policy forthcoming, the government would not be burdened by ceasing enforcement at this time. The order was issued in the appeal of Log Cabin Republicans v. Panetta ( formerly Gates ) , a case challenging the constitutionality of the DADT law. In September 2010, a federal district judge ruled that the law is unconstitutional and the Obama administration appealed that decision. While the Ninth Circuit must still rule on the constitutionality of the law, until it does so, the military will now be enjoined from enforcing DADT. Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, released the following statement:
"Today's decision is a harbinger that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is on its way out. With troops trained on the new policy and senior military leaders having said the process is working without significant disruption, DADT is on its last legs. The time for certification is now in order to clearly and plainly wipe this damaging law off the books once and for all."
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
Servicemembers United statement
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, today enthusiastically applauded the order issued by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifting its own stay of a lower court's injunction barring enforcement of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law. This move once again renders "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" unenforceable by the Pentagon.
"With the wait for certification dragging out beyond a reasonable time frame, the Court has once again stepped in to require the Pentagon to stop enforcing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' and this time it very well may be for good," said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the sole veteran plaintiff on the case. "I am proud to have worked personally worked with Log Cabin on this case for more than five years now and to have represented the gay military community as the sole named veteran on this lawsuit. Despite the criticisms and years of waiting, this case has yet again successfully eviscerated this outdated, harmful, and discriminatory law."
The Log Cabin Republicans vs. U.S.A. lawsuit is the only contemporary successful challenge to the constitutionality of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, which requires the Department of Defense to abruptly fire any servicemember found to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual. In 2010, U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips found the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law to be unconstitutional after a two-week trial, and issued an order barring enforcement of the law worldwide. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently issued a stay of that order pending appeal by the government. Today's order from the Ninth Circuit overturns its own previous stay, rendering "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" once again unenforceable.
Nicholson added, "Servicemembers should still remain extremely cautious with information regarding their sexual orientation for the time being. The issue remains in a state of flux, although guarded optimism is certainly warranted."
For more information about Servicemembers United and the gay military community, please visit our new home on the web at www.servicemembers.org .
Log Cabin Republicans victorious at 9th Circuit; injunction against DADT reinstated
( Washington, DC ) - Log Cabin Republicans celebrate the decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate the permanent injunction against enforcement of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" originally awarded by Judge Virginia Phillips in the case of Log Cabin Republicans v. United States.
"The ruling by the 9th Circuit in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States removes all uncertainty - American servicemembers are no longer under threat of discharge as the repeal implementation process goes forward," said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. "As a captain in the United States Army Reserve, I have observed the reactions of my colleagues to the Department of Defense's move toward open service, and can say with complete confidence that our military is ready, willing and able to take this step. Log Cabin Republicans are proud of our role in ending this unconstitutional and un-American policy once and for all."
"We are delighted with today's Ninth Circuit ruling that reinstates the injunction that Judge Phillips entered last September against enforcement of DADT. This ruling vindicates the right of openly gay and lesbian individuals to enlist or serve in our armed forces," said Dan Woods, White & Case partner who is representing Log Cabin Republicans. "We have been saying all along that the government had no legal basis for appealing Judge Phillips's decision and injunction. The court's ruling today finds that the government especially had no basis for putting that injunction on hold so that it could continue to investigate and discharge patriotic service members merely for their sexual orientation. This is a tremendous victory for the many Americans who want nothing more than to serve their country honorably and patriotically without regard to their sexual orientation, but the real winner here is our Constitution, which guarantees the rights of all Americans, gay and straight, whether serving in our armed forces or not."
Log Cabin Republicans have maintained a three-front strategy against 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' lobbying for repeal in Congress, consulting with the Department of Defense, and filing suit in federal court. The case went to trial in July of 2010, and Judge Virginia Phillips ruled on September 9, 2010 that the policy violated the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution.
Palm Center statement
Los Angeles, CA -- Palm Center director Aaron Belkin issued the following statement on the Ninth Circuit's reinstatement of the injunction against enforcing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell":
"All three branches of government, including the Pentagon itself, appear to have reached the same conclusion about military discrimination against gays and lesbians -- it is unconstitutional, harmful to individuals, and does not serve the purposes of the U.S. military. While it is yet to be determined whether the final decision will be made by the courts or the Congressionally-mandated certification process, the end of 'don't ask, don't tell' is close at hand. More work remains to be done on behalf of transgendered troops and the provision of equal benefits to all service members, but that said, we are on the precipice of achieving an historic victory."
The Palm Center, a part of the Williams Institute of the University of California, Los Angeles, is committed to sponsoring state-of-the-art scholarship to enhance the quality of public dialogue about critical and controversial issues of the day. For the past decade, the Palm Center's research on sexual minorities in the military has been published in leading social scientific journals. The Palm Center seeks to be a resource for university-affiliated as well as independent scholars, students, journalists, opinion leaders, and members of the public. For more information, see www.palmcenter.org .
Federal Court halts "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" again; Lambda Legal calls for cautious celebration
"The federal court did the right thing, preventing the government from enforcing the discriminatory DADT law. But before servicemembers put their careers at risk by coming out, they should recognize that every possible appeal is not yet exhausted. We've been on this roller-coaster ride before."
( San Francisco, July 6, 2011 ) -- Today, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay on the injunction issued by the district court in the Log Cabin Republicans' challenge to Don't Ask, Don't Tell ( DADT ) . The government is once again enjoined from enforcing DADT anywhere in the world. The government was enjoined once before for eight days, before a different set of Ninth Circuit judges issued the stay of the injunction in this case.
Lambda Legal issued the following statement from Legal Director Jon Davidson:
"This is a stunning development. It shows how important it is that the Department of Justice now recognizes that sexual orientation discrimination should be presumed to be unconstitutional and that courts should examine such discrimination carefully, as the Department of Justice forcefully argued in its brief filed last Friday in our DOMA challenge ( Golinski v. OPM ) , which today's Ninth Circuit order expressly referenced.
"The federal court did the right thing, preventing the government from enforcing the discriminatory DADT law. But before servicemembers put their careers at risk by coming out, they should recognize that every possible appeal is not yet exhausted. We've been on this roller-coaster ride before.
"We need to see what happens next. The government could ask the Ninth Circuit judges who just lifted the stay to
reimpose it while they ask a larger group of Ninth Circuit judges to again issue a stay or while they ask the Supreme Court to reimpose the stay.
"We congratulate the Log Cabin Republicans who have never given up fighting to make sure that DADT is finally ended."
The case is Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America. Lambda Legal previously filed an amicus brief asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to lift the stay. It also filed a brief on behalf of itself, Knights Out; Outserve; Human Rights Campaign and the Anti-Defamation League, urging the Court to find DADT unconstitutional.
ACLU Says Department of Defense must immediately certify repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" after federal appeals court ruling
NEW YORK The American Civil Liberties Union today said a federal appeals court order that the Obama administration immediately end the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on gays serving in the military underscores the urgent need for the Department of Defense to certify Congress' repeal of the policy.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today ruled that the U.S. military must stop enforcing the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy banning openly gay service members while the government's appeal of a lower court's decision overturning the statute works its way through the courts. Specifically, the court pointed to the government's recognition in a separate case that unequal treatment based on sexual orientation should be subjected to heightened scrutiny by the courts and the fact that the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" is well underway. In light of these facts, the court concluded that "the balance of hardships have changed" and the stay could no longer be justified.
President Obama signed a law repealing the policy in December. Under the law, the policy cannot be removed from the books until 60 days after the military certifies its repeal. The Department of Defense has yet to certify the repeal of the statute.
The following can be attributed to Leslie Cooper, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project:
"Today's ruling underscores the fact that there is no reason for leaving this discriminatory policy on the books. The Department of Defense must certify its repeal as soon as possible so all service members can serve their country with honesty and dignity."