9th Circuit Kind Of Sort Of Reinstates Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Not entirely surprisingly, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the Obama Administration’s request and reimposed the stay on an order that declared Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell unconstitutional but did so with a provisio that essentially makes the policy non-existent:

The military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is back in place for the time being, with one major caveat: the government is not allowed to investigate, penalize or discharge anyone who is openly gay.

A San Francisco federal appeals court ordered the military to temporarily continue the controversial policy in an order late Friday, the court’s response to a request from the Obama administration.

The order is the latest twist in the legal limbo gay service members have found themselves in as the policy is fought in the courts simultaneous to its slow dismantling by the federal government, which expects to do away with it by later this year.

In its three-page ruling, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the ruling was based on new information provided by the federal government, including a declaration from Major General Steven A. Hummer, who is leading the effort to repeal the policy.

I must admit that I’m somewhat confused about what the point would be of reinstating policy, albeit temporarily, but barring enforcement or investigation. Granted, the military itself has essentially suspended enforcement of the policy during the review period, so I’m not sure that this will really have much of an impact on military operations.

Here’s a copy of the Order:

Log Cabin Republicans v. U.S.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Military Affairs, National Security, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. mike says:

    The president’s base must be so happy that he has come through on so much – DADT, Gitmo, the wars. He had a chance to take a stance on DADT here and just not appeal the court’s decision and ask for a stay and his admin did not and instead appealed and the court reverses itself. Your right that the effect is really nothing b/c nothing is really happening substantively.

  2. Kylopod says:

    >The president’s base must be so happy that he has come through on so much – DADT, Gitmo

    The fact that you lump one of Obama’s successes together with one of his failures speaks volumes.

    DADT is unquestionably on its last legs if not already dead, but because Obama doesn’t take the strategy you favor, his elimination of it means nothing to you.

  3. mike says:

    I am just tired of him not taking a stand on anything he pledged to take a stand on – DADT is just another. He is worried about reelection plain and simple. the same reason he won’t support gay marriage publicly right now. DADT was a congressional success – I don’t credit the admin on this one.

  4. Kylopod says:

    >I am just tired of him not taking a stand on anything he pledged to take a stand on – DADT is just another.

    “This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.” — President Obama, Jan 27, 2010

    “I’ve been a strong believer in the notion that if somebody is willing to serve in our military, in uniform, putting their lives on the line for our security, that they should not be prevented from doing so because of their sexual orientation.” — President Obama, Nov. 3, 2010

    These statements, and the manner in which he moved to implement repeal, seem quite consistent with what he pledged during the campaign:

    “Obama believes we need to repeal the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy in consultation with military commanders. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Obama will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure we accomplish our national defense goals.” — BarackObama.com, “Resource Flyers,” Aug 26, 2007

    >DADT was a congressional success – I don’t credit the admin on this one.

    I agree. A president can only get credit from policies implemented through the courts, not through Congress. Isn’t that what every schoolchild is taught?