President Obama rebutted by his own Justice Department on DADT

Timothy Kincaid

April 13th, 2010

The Log Cabin Republicans are the plaintiffs on one of the few active cases opposing the legality of the Military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. And they have developed approaches that other plaintiffs more sympathetic to the President might not have employed.

One method was to try and establish that the Justice Department’s arguments were in direct contradiction with positions articulated by the President. This two-pronged approach either leaves the DOJ without much defense for an obviously discriminatory law, or embarrasses and pressures a President who is increasingly seen as having campaigned on promises that he has little interest in keeping.

And yesterday they were successful.

Log Cabin had been attempting to get the DOJ to answer yes or no questions so as to be on the record about whether the policy was bad for national defense. Obviously, if the Justice department admits that the policy is counter-productive, then there is little basis to defend it. So the DOJ fought having to answer.

But finally, after a direct order from the judge, they have stated their opinion. And their Response to Request for Admissions admits that the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice is basing their defense on arguments that completely contradict statements made by President Obama both in meetings with the gay community and in his State of the Union address.

They try to quibble that the Executive and Legislative Branches are in disagreement. They state that they are compelled to defend the law even if the Executive wishes it repealed.

And that may be correct. But they are not compelled to take specific factual conclusions that are contradictory to those espoused by the Executive Branch and yet that is exactly what they are doing.

The President of the United States, who formulates the policy of the Executive Branch, has stated, including in his State of the Union Address on January 27, 2010, that 10 U.S.C. § 654, the statute enacting “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (“DADT”), should be repealed. The President has further said that DADT does not contribute to, and indeed weakens our national security, and he has stated that “[w]e cannot afford to cut from our ranks people with the critical skills we need to fight any more than we can afford – for our military’s integrity – to force those willing to do so into careers encumbered and compromised by having to live a lie.”

But nonetheless, their answers are:

3. Admit that DAD’T does not contribute to our national security.

Response: Deny.

4. Admit that DADT weakens our national security.

Response: Deny.

5. Admit that discharging members pursuant to DADT weakens our national security.

Response: Deny.

As a matter of legal fact, the Obama Adminstration’s Department of Defense has stated that the President was not speaking the truth. As Dan Woods, a partner at White & Case, Log Cabin’s law firm put it

Using President Obama’s exact words, Log Cabin’s lawyers then asked the government to admit that what the President said was true. Justice Department lawyers objected, Log Cabin filed and won a motion to compel the government to answer the questions, the government appealed, and the court rejected the appeal. Consequently, on Monday, April 12, 2010, the government finally had to answer the questions and, when the Justice Department lawyers answered, they denied the truth of what the President had said.

This puts the President in a difficult position. He is talking out of both sides of his mouth. His Department of Justice speaks for him. It makes legal arguments that are consistent with the principles and factual conclusions of his administration.

Which is it, Mr. President?


April 13th, 2010

This is even worse that it seems. There is a third option a party has in responding to Requests for Admission. You can say that you lack information sufficient to admit or deny. Basically, you are saying you can’t form a conclusion b/c all of the facts aren’t in.

Since in this case, there is a difference of opinion among military leaders and b/t the Legislative and Executive branches, the DOJ could have responded in this manner w/o jeopardizing their case. (DOJ doesn’t have to prove that the policy is good, only that Congress could reasonably believe that it was good.)

But they didn’t. They gave a straight-up denial even though they didn’t have to. So it is a very deliberate slap in the face.


April 13th, 2010

Am I going to burn in gay hell for all eternity for loving the Log Cabin Republicans right now?

Ben in Oakland

April 13th, 2010

Of course they can go both ways at the same time. Those kenyans are wily. Like the red queen, they can bleieve six impossible things before breakfast.

Lindoro Almaviva

April 13th, 2010

somewhere in the White Hose there is a president sitting on some ice to ease the pain of being kicked in the balls with a pair of steel-toed boots.

Ben in Oakland

April 14th, 2010

OFAMA– our fierce advocate, my ass.

paul j stein

April 14th, 2010

Well, President Obama is a POLITITIAN. Did we all forget that?


April 14th, 2010

I can’t help wondering what the internal dynamics are at DOJ.

Have burrowed-in Bush political appointees held onto the reins, at odds with superiors who are reluctant to appear overly political?


April 14th, 2010

Kudos to Log Cabin. They done good.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts

The Things You Learn from the Internet

"The Intel On This Wasn't 100 Percent"

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.