The Obama White House should let “don’t ask” die

Sometimes, the courts come along and do politicians a tremendous favor — passing a ruling that ends an increasingly divisive practice without forcing timid elected officials to alienate some constituents. That may be the case with the odious policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Today, a federal judge issued a worldwide injunction ordering the military to end enforcement of the policy. From The Associated Press:

A federal judge issued a worldwide injunction Tuesday stopping enforcement of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, ending the military’s 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips’ landmark ruling was widely cheered by gay rights organizations that credited her with getting accomplished what President Obama and Washington politics could not.

“This order from Judge Phillips is another historic and courageous step in the right direction, a step that Congress has been noticeably slow in taking,” said Alexander Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United and the sole named veteran plaintiff in the case along with the Log Cabin Republicans.

Servicemembers United is the nation’s largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans.

U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say the department is under no legal obligation to do so and could let Phillips’ ruling stand.

The Obama administration does not support “don’t ask,” but it is in the inenviable position of being expected to fight for all laws that Congress has passed. In this case, the wiser course is to allow the ruling to stand. “Don’t ask” is on a collision course with a changing America and with common sense. (The lawsuit challenging the policy, by the way, was brought by Log Cabin Republicans in 2004.)
The House has already voted to end the policy, but Senate Republicans refused to kill it. With more Republicans likely to win seats in the Senate, a dumb policy could live on for another few years.
The Attorney General should decline to appeal the ruling.

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[...] 4:10 p.m. Pretty big story out of San Diego: A federal judge issued a worldwide injunction Tuesday stopping enforcement of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, ending the U.S. military’s 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops. Cynthia Tucker column. [...]

markie mark

October 12th, 2010
4:17 pm

wow….I dont wanna be first

markie mark

October 12th, 2010
4:19 pm

ok, now that I am second, I think the obama admin is in a no win situation in an election year….and will probably fight until November and then quietly steal away….I am not sure about the changes in close quarters combat (thinking submarines, etc) but most western countries have had this policy for years with no problems…

ctucker

October 12th, 2010
4:23 pm

Yes, markie mark@4:19, you’re right about other Western powers. Nobody thinks the Israeli Army is weak because it allows gays to serve openly.

atlwolf

October 12th, 2010
4:24 pm

The word is UNenviable, Tucker. You’d think a journalist would know how to spell.

markie mark

October 12th, 2010
4:27 pm

and CT, last I heard Britain has for years….

Roberto

October 12th, 2010
4:34 pm

That thud you just heard is the sound of a homosexual GI’s body hitting the deck after being launched from the 3rd floor of a barracks.

I’m not saying that’s OK. I’m saying it’s going to happen.

tiredofitall

October 12th, 2010
4:35 pm

Republican Plan for America:
1) Rewrite the 1st amendment to only apply to “real” republican approved voters
2) Rewrite the 14th amendment to only consider “real” republicans citizens
3) Eliminate any social programs that “real” republican voters disapprove of
4) Eliminate any government agency that “real” republican voters disapprove of
5) All elected official’s must work for free – no salary or benefits
6) Build a Korean-style border solution for the US/Mexican border. Anyone attempting to cross will be shot onsite.
7) Ship all illegal aliens/Democrats to Mexico – kill any that resist
8) Make Christian law the law of the land and form a empiric counsel of Christian religious leaders that will make ultimate rules that override conditional law
9) All homosexuals must be rounded up and sent for re-education. Not sure what to do with the ones who don’t want to go or fail

Did I miss any?

Skipper

October 12th, 2010
4:36 pm

The endlessly repeating topics are as boring as the endless sameness if the posters. New material…please.

Skipper

October 12th, 2010
4:37 pm

of, boredom paralyzed my fingers.

AmVet

October 12th, 2010
4:41 pm

“I’m not saying that’s OK.”

Really?

I presume that you have never served in the Unites States Armed Forces.

Otherwise, you would have the first inkling about such topics as:

A Code of Honor.

Service before Self.

Only the worst of the worst of the xenophobes, bigots and homophobes in uniform would even think of what you posit.

It makes one wonder why you do.

38 years ago today, I reported to boot camp, during another clusterf&ck of a war. And I learned first hand about those sacred duties noted above. Too bad those concepts are so lost on some…

Roberto

October 12th, 2010
4:44 pm

AmVet,

Don’t get all high and f***ing mighty, ok? Yeah, I served. That’s how I know what’s going to happen. If you believe it’s all Code of Honor and Service before Self, it makes me believe you were a wannabe.

And no, I don’t think it’s ok.

markie mark

October 12th, 2010
4:44 pm

hey tiredofitall…can ya just TRY to stay on topic….we aint even thru half the first page of posts….geeezzeee

granny godzilla

October 12th, 2010
4:45 pm

Wonderful, marvelous news!

I feel safer already.

….

Amvet

Thank you for your service.

Cindy

October 12th, 2010
4:46 pm

I am a liberal’s liberal and think that anything anyone wants to do is okay with me. Gay? No problem. Racist? Okay as long as you are not white. Illegal alien? Yeah, we welcome all of you with open arms and you may have your way with free medical care, food stamps, Social Security benefits, etc.

Gay black pastor? Hmmmm…..don’t think I’ll write about that one since it involves fellow black teenagers. You see, I’m black and liberal but I cannot cross that line to admit that a black man did any wrong.

markie mark

October 12th, 2010
4:48 pm

Amvet, I second what Granny said….and sorry you probably had to wait for years after your service to hear that. Thats at least one lesson we learned from Vietnam. Blame the !@#!@# politicians, not the soldiers. Maybe the only one we learned.

Nothing Is Free

October 12th, 2010
4:53 pm

I think it is good when the Two Houses of Congress and the White House no longer make our laws.

Activist judges are the answer. They were the answer for the Third Reich and they will be the answer for us.

The sooner we get this nasty old Republic crap out of the way the better.

POWER TO THE JUDGES!!!

Nothing Is Free

October 12th, 2010
4:56 pm

- -I presume that you have never served in the Unites States Armed Forces.

Otherwise, you would have the first inkling about such topics as:

A Code of Honor.

Service before Self.- -

Holy crap, he thinks that a code of honor and service before self can only be learned in the military.

Tommy Maddox

October 12th, 2010
4:58 pm

“The real traditions of the British Navy are rum, buggery and the lash.”

All this time I hoped Churchill was kidding…

Keep up the good fight!

October 12th, 2010
4:59 pm

NutsisFree…okay we agree. The sooner we get this nasty old Republic crap out of the way the better.

Of course, the judge did not actually make the law but rather has enjoined enforcement based on legal principles in accordance with their constitutional responsibility.

But hey, if the fact that Congress and the President pass a law means the courts should just enforce it…I guess the next time we discuss healthcare insurance reform, I’ll be hearing about how judges should leave it in place.

Owl

October 12th, 2010
5:01 pm

First- what is a worldwide ruling from a federal judge…perhaps for our troops stationed overseas?
Second- The Democrats hold the Executive branch and Congress and can do whatever they want- stop whining. Please.

HDB

October 12th, 2010
5:01 pm

Nothing Is Free
October 12th, 2010
4:53 pm

There are times that judges must make happen what the legislature fails to address. Note “Separate but equal” was struck down by JUDGES….even though the legislature said OK; racial policy was first resolved in the COURTS before the legislature addressed it!! Judges, in this case, determine the constitutionality of statutes in question. DADT had constitutional issues…..and the court addressed them in its ruling!!

Part of the process of arriving at an equal society!!

Billybob

October 12th, 2010
5:02 pm

Activist judges to the rescue! Another liberal decides they don’t like a law or ruling, so they change it. Well at least they saved the babies in the early 70’s…OOOPS?

AmVet

October 12th, 2010
5:02 pm

Good on you, R.

Wouldn’t you agree, that your sole post on this topic – to assert that marines, soldiers, airman and sailors are such scumbags that they’d murder other servicemen, simply because they are gay – in some sort of cavalier, frequent manner is exceptionally bizarre?

BTW, when did you serve? In the Spanish American war? (J/K and LOL.)

Times have changed. And the once prevalent irrational far right wing haters are in a minuscule minority who can’t get away with any of their hate-filled s**t anymore.

Sorry, if that’s bad news; don’t shoot the messenger.

So pardon me, while I laugh at your drama queen predictions.

It would seem that your poutrage would be better directed at any overweight, under-educated felons in uniform instead of homosexuals.

The kind that you apparently know who – in the future(?) – are going to throw innocent people out of third story windows.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

October 12th, 2010
5:02 pm

NIF, ok it’s fun time. ‘nother name for judge is jurist. it comes from the Latin word jure, which means; “law”. it is the role (and sworn responsibility) of members of the judicial branch(es) to interpret the law and rule accordingly. you see, politicians are responsible for policy, which they hope to further via law, but politicians are no experts in law. history shows us, they’re far from it (or don’t they teach this in the history books you read?). more accurately, politicians are pimps and political influence brokers who sell to the highest bidder. it’s the difference between the Latin phrases de facto (of fact – or in practice) and de jure (of the law – or in theory). like the scientists you also villfy, it is the responsibility of the jurist to confirm the “legally” (authenticity) of the nonsense the politicians shovel our way.

ctucker

October 12th, 2010
5:03 pm

Billybob@5:02, “Activist Judge” — One who passes rulings with which I disagree.

Nothing Is Free

October 12th, 2010
5:03 pm

Keep up the good whine

Not Republican. Republic, as in people voting to elect our lawmakers, not promoting the law enforcers to the level of law makers.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

October 12th, 2010
5:03 pm

Is the military a social experiment or national defense organization, I believe the libs have roundly given their answer to that question.

And the Frenchies and Euroweenies couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag, so yes, let’s compare them to the most powerful military force on the planet.

wtf, man?

paleo-neo-Carlinist

October 12th, 2010
5:03 pm

Tommy M, well, I guess the good news is, you get the rum first

Cindy

October 12th, 2010
5:04 pm

I just like that guy Eddie Long. I don’t understand why he should be attacked like this. It must be the republican, white media….yes, that’s it. Long has done nothing wrong and I will write an article about that very soon. It’s okay to be gay.

Billybob

October 12th, 2010
5:04 pm

HDB,

You will never create or legislate equality. But you can grab power by tricking people into thinking you can do it….ie socialism, or as Kamchak puts it, the word of the day!

Jon

October 12th, 2010
5:05 pm

There are plenty of examples where courts struck down laws as unconstitutional and politicians took decades to get around to actually repealing the offending statute. Many Jim Crow Era laws stayed on Southern States’ statute books long after courts prohibited their enforcement. Politicians usually lack the backbone to take a stand on clearly objectionable laws lest they lose even a few votes. This looks like a similar circumstance to the Civil Rights struggles in the 1960s for racial equality: the courts will have to force the issue before the politicians find the wherewithal to act.

With a worldwide injunction in place, President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and most importantly Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal can state their agreement with the decision, allow the ruling to stand, and help the country move on. One interesting factor is that in Judge Virginia Phillips’ ruling, she cited both President Obama’s and Admiral Mullen’s own statements undermining the government’s case, particularly on the point of whether the act served a compelling state interest in military readiness. If the Obama Administration does appeal the ruling, it would be a long-shot. The judge wrote iron clad findings of fact and a well reasoned decision that used the President’s own statements to shore up the argument. An appeals court only gets to look at errors of interpretation of the law and not the findings of fact. Those facts paint a pretty clear picture of how the law violates the First and Fifth Amendments, as Judge Phillips ruled. The Solicitor General could easily find that the government was unlikely to prevail on appeal and that the case was correctly decided, thus ending the appeals process and allowing the injunction to stand.

(By the way, the Solicitor General is responsible for reviewing “all cases decided adversely to the government in the lower courts to determine whether they should be appealed and, if so, what position should be taken. Moreover, the Solicitor General determines whether the government will participate as an amicus curiae, or intervene, in cases in any appellate court.” It would be rare, but not unprecedented, for the Attorney General or the President to become involved in the review and/or decision whether to appeal. See http://www.justice.gov/osg/about-osg.html, third paragraph.)

HDB

October 12th, 2010
5:05 pm

AmVet
October 12th, 2010
4:41 pm

Having also served in the military…and I served with several who were gay (and many of us knew it!), I can say that there was LIMITED animosity against those who were gay….but as long as I wasn’t approached, and they were professional in their demeanor and work, I had no issues with them; fact is – they turned out to be some of my better shipmates!!

Boca Baby

October 12th, 2010
5:06 pm

I think that this move by this judge may backfire. If DADT is struck down the military would revert to what it used before. The military code of conduct specifically forbids homosexual conduct. And, as far as I can tell, the question “Are you a homosexual” would then be asked on all applications for military service. All those answering in the affirmative would be disqualified from service. You might be careful of what you ask for–you might just get something other than what you have asked.

Nothing Is Free

October 12th, 2010
5:06 pm

ctucker

Sorry about this morning. You have always been fair to me even though you haven’t been so fair to the things I believe.

Peadawg

October 12th, 2010
5:08 pm

“The House has already voted to end the policy, but Senate Republicans refused to kill it.”

Not exactly true but spin however you want. The GOP voted down the military bill that had MANY MANY things in it. If the DADT policy was a bill all by itself then it would probably be passed. Nice try though.

Kamchak

October 12th, 2010
5:09 pm

“Activist judges” and the “Third Reich” all in one post.

If you had only used “Marx/Marxism/Marxist,” “communist/communism,” or “socialist/socialism” you could have hit the trifecta.

Boca Baby

October 12th, 2010
5:09 pm

Oh, and by the way Ms Tucker, you can bet your sweet banana the newly elected Republican majority congress will not just let this die. If you think so I have some beach front property in Arizona I would like to show you.

just thinkin'

October 12th, 2010
5:09 pm

Must be nice to live in your world, Tucker! One where your views are the only ones that are correct and law enforcers have become law makers. It’s a pity you never were in the military service, as your views would quite possibly be radically different.

One day, maybe you can venture into the world the rest of us live in…like that could ever happen.

Now I am mad at myself for blogging, as it means I actually took the time to read this tripe.

AmVet

October 12th, 2010
5:09 pm

granny, thanks.

markie, I never looked back. I was lucky. It was gawdawful time, and the saddest part of it is how those criminals in the Bush White House learned absolutely ZERO from it all.

And yes, those valorous concepts I noted above can be learned outside of the US military.

Apparently some think that the bush-league version of them can be picked up in the Webelos…

mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack the LIAR Obama - BEND OVER, Here comes the CHANGE!

October 12th, 2010
5:10 pm

I am OK with “Don’t Ask, WE KNOW”

Peadawg

October 12th, 2010
5:11 pm

“as it means I actually took the time to read this tripe.”

Just read the last couple of sentences. She always says something stupid there like earlier this morning and now this one.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

October 12th, 2010
5:12 pm

Peadawg, I think you may be onto something, but as I said, left or right, conservative or liberal, politicans don’t care about the “common Defense OR the “equal protection”. they care about trading horses. I am hyper-cynical when it comes to anything government (especially the courts), but I think the framers got this one right. what is the opposite of an “activist judge”? a “rubber stamper”? a “status quo”? again my friends, it’s not about who wins or who loses (competition). it’s about bookies taking bets and getting rich doing so – de facto vs. de jure. ask NIF. he’ll fill you in.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award", much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

October 12th, 2010
5:12 pm

Let me correct your headline for you Cynthia…..

The Obama White House should let “Obamacare” die….

No thanks are needed.

ctucker

October 12th, 2010
5:13 pm

Boca Baby@5:09, Happily, a newly elected GOP Congress cannot stop a federal judge.

Billybob

October 12th, 2010
5:13 pm

Tucker,
Did the judge follow this law or did she decide that on some level it was wrong? When you answer that question, tell me what you have Tucker…..an activist judge. Right or wrong?

ctucker

October 12th, 2010
5:14 pm

I Report and Whine@5:02, And the Israelis? Just a bunch of surrender monkeys?

HDB

October 12th, 2010
5:14 pm

Billybob

October 12th, 2010
5:04 pm
HDB,

You will never create or legislate equality.

Yes you can…by creating laws that are colorblind….treating people EQUALLY….by working to make opportunity equal…..it’s not a totally socialistic viewpoint here!!

Note I said equal TREATMENT and OPPORTUNITY, not equal OUTCOME!!

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

October 12th, 2010
5:14 pm

More than 4 of 10 likely voters who say they once considered themselves Obama backers now are either less supportive or say they no longer support him at all, according to a Bloomberg National Poll conducted Oct. 7-10. -Bloomberg

Poll: Women see Barack Obama administration as a ‘failure’- Politico

mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

lewis

October 12th, 2010
5:16 pm

I think Obama should charge them a special gay tax if they want to serve.