( Washington, DC ) - The Obama Department of Justice is filing an emergency motion with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals pleading with the court to reconsider its order vacating the stay. The Ninth Circuit last week removed a stay against the worldwide injunction awarded in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States, effectively halting 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'
"This latest maneuver by the President continues a pattern of doublespeak that all Americans should find troubling. All this does is further confuse the situation for our men and women in uniform," said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director, combat veteran and captain in the United States Army Reserve. "Let me be clear - the president is asking the court for the power to continue threatening servicemembers with investigation and discharge, and the right to turn away qualified Americans from military service for no reason other than their sexual orientation. Even if the administration never uses that power, it is still wrong, and the Ninth Circuit was clear that there is no justification for continuing the violation of servicemembers' constitutional rights. 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is an offense to American values that should have been gone long ago. It is shameful that a president who has taken credit for opposing the policy is taking extreme measures to keep it on life support."
"The motion that the government filed today has no other purpose than to request - on an emergency basis - that the military be permitted to investigate and discharge servicemembers, and block new enlistments, based solely on those individuals' sexuality," said Dan Woods, partner of White & Case and lead attorney in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States. "The government's request is inexplicable on any other basis."
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.
SLDN responds to reports of DOJ intent to appeal DADT ruling
( Washington, DC ) Tonight Army Veteran and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network ( SLDN ) Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis issued the following in response to reports that the Department of Justice intends to appeal last week's decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding enforcement of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ( DADT ) law in the Log Cabin Republicans vs. United States case.
"At SLDN, we are frustrated by this last-minute filing, which could well add more delay and confusion for service members. This development only serves to underscore the need for immediate certification and finality."
STILL AT RISK: Despite the President signing the bill authorizing repeal of DADT, it is still unsafe for service members to come out until 60 days after certification by President Obama, Secretary Panetta, and Admiral Mullen. Click here to read our warning to service members.
SLDN FREE HOTLINE: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service members with questions are urged to contact the SLDN hotline to speak with a staff attorney: 202-328-3244 x100.
ABOUT SLDN: Servicemembers Legal Defense Network ( SLDN ) was established in 1993 when "Don't Ask" originally passed. In addition to working on repeal, SLDN offers free, confidential legal services to those impacted by the discriminatory law. Last year the organization received its 10,000th call for assistance to its legal hotline.