Justice Dept. Files Emergency DADT Stay Request With 9th Circuit
October 20th, 2010
The Justice Department today has filed an emergency request with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, asking that the court issues a stay of U.S. Federal District Judge Virginia A. Phillips’ injunction preventing the Defense Department from enforcing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
In today’s filing (PDF: 156 KB/25 pages, via Politico), the Justice Department argues that “if not stayed immediately, the district court’s order precludes the administration of an Act of Congress and risks causing significant immediate harm to the military and its efforts to be prepared to implement an orderly repeal of the statute.” The Justice Department then asks:
We respectfully request that the Court enter an administrative stay by today October 20, 2010, pending this Court’s resolution of the government’s motion for a stay pending appeal, which would maintain the status quo that prevailed before the district court’s decision while the Court considers the government’s stay motion.
In giving the reasons for requesting the stay, the Justice Department repeats the reasons they gave to the District Court, except this time they chose to omit the “evidence” of the Rolling Stone interview with President Barack Obama, which Judge Phillips derisively dismissed as “hearsay.” The Justice Department argues:
The worldwide injunction also threatens to disrupt the ongoing efforts to fashion and implement policies to effect any repeal of § 654 in an orderly fashion. The President strongly supports repeal of the statute that the district court has found unconstitutional, a position shared by the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Although the Administration has called for a repeal of the statute, it has made clear that repeal should not occur without needed deliberation, advance planning, and training. To that end, the Secretary of Defense established the Comprehensive Review Working Group, which is currently nearing completion of a comprehensive review of how best to implement a repeal of § 654. The Working Group has visited numerous military installations across the country and overseas, where it has interacted with tens of thousands of servicemembers on this issue. The Working Group has also conducted an extensive, professionally developed survey that was distributed to a representative sample of approximately 400,000 servicemembers. An abrupt, court-ordered end to the statute would pretermit the Working Group’s efforts to ensure that the military completes development of the necessary policies and regulations for a successful and orderly implementation of any repeal of § 654. The significant impairment of the Department’s efforts to devise an orderly end to the statute would cause irreparable harm.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon has complied with the injunction barring enforcement of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Former New York Guardsman Lt. Dan Choi yesterday successfully re-enlisted in the U.S. Army at a recruiting station in New York, while the Pentagon has announced that they have called a halt to all ongoing discharge procedures underway under DADT.
Karen Ocamb puts it nicely:
Obama, the DOJ and the Pentagon should acknowledge that DADT is broken and unfixable like Humpty Dumpty.