BREAKING: Ninth Court Reinstates Order Striking Down DADT, Effective Immediately

Posted on July 6, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

Via Huffington Post:

 

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court has barred further enforcement of the U.S. military’s ban on openly gay service members.A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Wednesday the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy must be immediately lifted now that the Obama administration says it’s unconstitutional to treat gay Americans differently under the law.

More from The Advocate:

 

The panel ruled that DADT must be lifted immediately and cited the recent Department of Justice brief in Golinski v. U.S. Office of Personnel Management, in which the government said, “gay and lesbian individuals have suffered a long and significant history of purposeful discrimination.”The court also noted that Congress passed a bill in December to lift the ban on gay and lesbian service members serving openly.

Think Progress has the text of the order:

 

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-appellant’s motion to lift this court’s November 1, 2010, order granting a stay of the district court’s 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-appellant’s 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)

Press release from Servicemembers United 


Ninth Circuit Lifts Stay Barring Enforcement of DADT

LCR Case, on which Servicemembers United Executive Director is the Sole
Veteran Plaintiff, Succeeds Again in Gutting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
7/6/2011

Contact:
Alex Nicholson: 202-531-4839 | Email: anicholson@servicemembers.org
Jarrod Chlapowski: 252-721.8152 | Email: jchlapowski@servicemembers.org

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 [http://www.servicemembers.orgwww.servicemembers.org.

###

Servicemembers United, a non-profit and non-partisan organization, is the nation’s largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and their allies. Based in Washington, DC, Servicemembers United actively engages in education and advocacy on issues affecting the gay military, veteran, and defense community.

SLDN reaction 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 6, 2011
Zeke Stokes: (803) 479-0439 (cell) / (202) 621-5406 (office) or zeke@sldn.org
Paul DeMiglio: (202) 621-5408 (office) or paul@sldn.orgSLDN Statement on Ninth Circuit Court’s DADT Ruling

(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.”

##

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 Gates, 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.

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