Injunction Orders End to Don't Ask, Don't TellAlexander Nicholson

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips has followed up on her Sept. 23, 2010 decision that the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy for gays in the military was unconstitutional, issuing a worldwide injunction stopping enforcement of the 17-year-old ban.

Her original decision was released following a two week, non-jury trial that was filed by the Log Cabin Republicans in 2004 to stop the ban’s enforcement.

U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say they are under no legal obligation to do so and could let Phillips' ruling stand.

However, the appeal may have already been filed. According to a statement released by the White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, following Phillips’ original decision:

“Today (Sept 23, 2010), the Department of Justice made a filing in a legal challenge to the Don’t Ask, Don’t tell (DADT) policy, as it traditionally does when acts of Congress are challenged. 
This filing in no way diminishes the President’s firm commitment to achieve a legislative repeal of DADT – indeed, it clearly shows why Congress must act to end this misguided policy. … The President, along with his Administration, will continue to work with the Senate Leadership to achieve a legislative repeal of DADT as outlined in the NDAA this fall.”

In her decision, Phillips said that the law violates the free-speech and due process rights of service members after listening to the testimonies of military officers who have been discharged under the policy, including testimony form Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the sole named veteran plaintiff in the case along with the Log Cabin Republicans.

"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 Nicholson. "While this is certainly news to be celebrated, we would also advise caution in advance of a potential stay from the Ninth Circuit. If the appellate court wishes to put itself on the right side of history, however, it will allow this sound and long-over due decision to remain in effect."

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