BREAKING: Judge Orders Pentagon to Stop Enforcing DADT

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Federal Judge Virginia A. Phillips, who presided in the Federal challenge to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” that went to trial in Riverside, CA, in July, today entered her final judgment to block the enforcement of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and has instructed the Defense Department to immediately “suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding” related to the policy. The injunction is effective immediately

That’s correct. As of today, October 12, 2010, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is dead.

The text of Judge Virginia A. Phillips’ order:


This action was tried by Judge Virginia A. Phillips without a jury on July
13-16 and 20-23, 2010.  The Court filed a Memorandum Opinion on
September 9, 2010 (Doc. 232), and an Amended & Final Memorandum
Opinion, and Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, on October 8, 2010.
For all the reasons set forth therein, the Court:

(1) DECLARES that the act known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” infringes
the fundamental rights of United States servicemembers and prospective
servicemembers and violates (a) the substantive due process rights
guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and
(b) the rights to freedom of speech and to petition the Government for redress
of grievances guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States

(2) PERMANENTLY ENJOINS Defendants United States of America
and the Secretary of Defense, their agents, servants, officers, employees,
and attorneys, and all persons acting in participation or concert with them or
under their direction or command, from enforcing or applying the “Don’t Ask,
Don’t Tell” Act and implementing regulations, against any person under their
jurisdiction or command;

(3) ORDERS Defendants United States of America and the Secretary of
Defense immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or
discharge, separation, or other proceeding, that may have been commenced
under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Act, or pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 654 or its
implementing regulations, on or prior to the date of this Judgment.

(4) GRANTS Plaintiff Log Cabin Republicans’ request to apply for
attorneys’ fees pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. §
2412; and

(5) GRANTS Plaintiff Log Cabin Republicans’ request to file a motion
for costs of suit, to the extent allowed by law.

Repeal advocates are awaiting a decision by the Department of Justice on whether it will appeal today’s ruling. Let’s see if our “fiercest advocate” is foolish enough to order AG Eric Holder to file an appeal.

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24 Responses to BREAKING: Judge Orders Pentagon to Stop Enforcing DADT

  1. DMason says:

    DADT is dead today but you know President Obama & Eric Holder are rushing to the body to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on it. My guess is they will file a legal challenge to the ruling in 30 days.

  2. Pechanga says:

    As I understand the law, Obama’s DoJ has 60 days from today (Dec. 12, 2010) to file an appeal or the ruling is enforced.

    Let’s see how courageous or cowardly the president is on DADT and keeping his campaign promise to rid the country of this terrible policy that has harmed so many decent Americans as well as the security of this nation.

  3. Idaho Librul says:

    This is tremendously good news!

    “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is an anachronism. A stinging holdover from the Clinton administration and is all but dead and buried.

    14,000 men and women have had their lives turned upside down as a result of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and is un-American.

    If President Obama has a brain, he will stand aside and let the 60 day appeal period expire. If he appeals the ruling, I think he will lose reelection by historic numbers, as well he should.

  4. Harry says:

    Carl Paladino and the Hasidic Jews in New York City must be on suicide watch this afternoon.

  5. Arizona Leatherneck says:

    President Obama, Adm. Mike Mullen and Robert Gates get slapped across the face again.

    Obama says he wants an “orderly” repeal of the ban and even told audiences during the campaign that if elected, he would be the president who kicked the ban to the curb.

    But President Obama keeps finding people like Gen. James Amos who told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he worried changing the policy would serve as a “distraction” to Marines fighting in Afghanistan.

    Amos said, “My primary concern with proposed repeal is the potential disruption to cohesion that may be caused by significant change during a period of extended combat operations.”

    Sorry gang but I no longer believe our president. He hasn’t lifted his finger or done a frigging thing to repeal the ban since taking office. I fully expect President Obama to instruct Eric Holder to appeal.

  6. stradella says:

    Obama is the Commander in Chief. He needs to stop hiding behind Robert Gates and step up and act like the Commander in Chief.

    If he orders the Marines to get hair extensions and sing Lady Gaga songs, they’d better the hell do it or risk court martial.

    After 2 years in office, if Obama won’t step up and stop acting like a junior senator and begin acting like the Commander in Chief, then he shouldn’t be the president. He should step aside in 2012 and let Biden or Hillary run.

  7. Matteo says:

    Today is a seminal day in gay equality.

    Seventeen years is a long time to discriminate against good and honorable Americans who want to serve their country but are prevented from doing so because they’re gay or lesbian.

    If you feel so inclined, sign this on-line note to thank Judge Virginia A. Phillips and thank her for her commitment to justice.

  8. lea-lea says:

    Woo Hoo! Superb news!!!

    I signed the ‘Thank You’ petition Matteo posted for Judge Virginia Phillips. She’s SCOTUS ready in my book.

  9. Gleneagle says:

    I am cautiously optimistic. The wave of history as well as public opinion is on the side of repeal. But if we’ve learned anything about President Obama, he’s a right-of-center Dem and as Gen. Stan McChrystal adroitly observed, Mr. Obama’s knees go limp in the presence of men in uniform. The military frightens him. Let’s see what happens in 61 days.

  10. Massagatto says:

    Barry Sorento prayed to the Saints he wouldn’t have to do the heavy lifting on repealing the ban and his prayers were answered.

    You see, strong woman have always been there to help him along the way.

    In the case of repealing the ban, her name is Judge Virginia A. Phillips.

    Long before he became president, he had a strong, single mother to tell him how wonderful, how smart and how clever.

    His grandmother was there too. Oh, how she loved little Barry!

    Then there was a favorite female teacher in grade school and then, a favorite female high school in Hawaii.

    And finally, his warrior woman, Michelle Obama — the archetype of the strong, black woman, who would poke and prod him, tell him what to do, how to dress, what to say and not say.

    My guess is tonight, Judge Virginia A. Phillips is Barry’s favorite new girl. Judge Virginia A. Phillips did what Barry couldn’t do and it was merely to instruct the Pentagon they could no longer enforce “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

  11. Bungy says:

    Given that the Justice Department has just announced that it is appealing the Massachusetts DOMA decision, I have little faith that they won’t do the same with DADT.

    The Obama administration has just moved from neglectful inattention in its homophobic leadership to outright hostility.

    And there goes his base…

  12. Randy Arroyo says:

    I think I’m pretty much with Gleneagle on this. I am cautiously optimistic but given this is an election year and Obama is proving to be almost as bad as Bush on many issues, I’ll just hold my tongue until the 60 days elapse.

  13. VicoDANIEL says:

    I hate to be Debbie Downer but I think Obama’s DoJ will appeal Judge Virginia Phillips decision.

    Knowing sneaky politicians are, I would put $20 on the appeal being filed near the very end of the 60 day period. Like Dec. 9th or 10th, when most people are busy with the Holidays and not focused on politics.

    Of course, it makes no sense and there’s no gain for Obama because everyone but African Americans hate him, so what does he have left to lose by just letting the 60 days pass and the ruling stand?

    But Obama has always been more worried about what social conservatives, i.e., Republicans, think about him and not the base. Obama graduated from Harvard but his political skills were acquired at the Sally Struthers School of Home Study.

  14. Thai Noodles says:

    It would appear, the ball is now in the White House’s court. If the DOJ appeals, the bad PR will be lethal for the president.

    I have to believe he knows it but whether he wants to play checkmate and risk the gay vote in ’12 is unknown.

  15. Thai Noodles says:

    Let it die! For God’s sake, why appeal? Just so this president can appear tough enough to stand up to his gay critics? Does he really want to stake his second term on appealing this terrible law? He can’t be that naive?

  16. Jolly Roger says:

    I’m with the body of opinion that thinks they’ll appeal the ruling. They’ve pandered to the Jesusistanis so long it’s second nature to them now.

  17. fran says:

    I heart Judge Virginia A. Phillips.

    Interesting it was based on both free speech, 1st Amendment, and 5th Amendment rights.

    What is the 5th Amendment again…..

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    So there.

    I hope it sticks. It’s about damned time.

  18. feminazi says:

    Hooray! Judge Virginia A. Phillips understands the Constitution. And like Massagatto said, Judge Phillips did this timid president an enormous favor with this ruling. Ending discrimination still matters and I only wish Mr. Obama could see the world from his black side more often and not worry what a few righties in South Carolina or Texas think of him.

  19. TOM339 says:

    Like all of you, I am very happy this day arrived.

    It didn’t happen the way I hoped with legislation passing both chambers of Congress and Obama taking pen to hand to sign it but I’m not complaining.

    And like many of you, I am now focused on whether or not the Dept. of Justice will appeal. If they do appeal, it will be a disaster for President Obama, who is losing supporters in droves. He will be seen as a coward and a liar. Not a bold and decisive leader.

    On the military side, eliminating DADT in the lead-up to the anticipated invasion of Pakistan will provide the Pentagon with more warm bodies to send over there.

  20. joost says:

    Check it out.

    Senators Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Roland Burris (D-I;;.), Sen. Mark Udall (D-Color.),Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), all signed a letter to Obama imploring him to not appeal the Judge’s decision. Let’s see just how arrogant Obama can be.

  21. Shayne K. says:

    Too bad Dianne Feinstein isn’t on the letter.

    But hey, she’s a rightwing DINO and a war profiteer so I’m not surprised. What does surprise me is, she keeps getting elected by Californians? What gives?

  22. Rinaldo says:

    Just wondering … perhaps someone with legal background can comment on this … can ONLY the justice dept appeal the decision? Is there any possibility of legal challenge from other quarters?

    I guess my question is: how final is this decision?

  23. Stephan Iversonn says:

    Obama claims he supports the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a law now deemed unconstitutional by at least two federal judges.

    Yet, Obama says he repealing the unconstitutional ban must be “orderly,” citing concerns about conduct and unit cohesion. Almost the exact concerns expressed by Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

    What this silly president fails to understand is, the issue of conduct is a command matter and has nothing to do with the legislative branch of the federal government.

    Is Obama suggesting there is a problem with the military command? Surely, he can’t be suggesting such a thing? When the military was integrated and African Americans and women were allowed to serve, commanders brilliantly stepped up and all was well.

    Maybe Obama needs to examine his own beliefs and feelings about gay men and lesbian women? I think if he did, Obama might be forced to admit he’s every bit the homophobe as is Tony Perkins and Maggie Gallagher.

  24. Jolly Roger says:

    There will be an appeal. Bank on it. This guy is, I am now convinced, beholden to religious stupidstition.

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