U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Case Challenging ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed with a lower appeals court decision upholding the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, refusing to hear a case brought by 12 former servicemembers (Pietrangelo v. Gates):

Dadt "The rebuff spares President Barack Obama’s administration from the
awkward task of mounting a legal defense for a policy the president
says should be repealed. In urging the Supreme Court not to hear the
appeal, administration lawyers said a lower court was correct to uphold
the policy. The high court case stemmed from a lawsuit by 12 former service
members who were discharged because of their sexual orientation. A
federal appeals court in Boston threw out the suit, disagreeing with a
San Francisco-based appeals court that had let a similar suit go
forward. One of the 12, James E. Pietrangelo II, asked the Supreme Court to
hear arguments in the case. Most of the rest of the group joined a
brief asking the justices to defer reviewing the policy while the
administration and lawmakers revisit it."


  1. paul c says

    The Obama administration is now actively working against gay rights rather than doing nothing. That’s great.

    As angry as I am right now, I can’t even imagine what I would feel like if I had contributed money, or gone to the DNC convention, turned my website into a 24/7 Obama propaganda machine…or voted for him.

  2. Jeremy says

    What does everyone expect? Obama is just another “typical” politician. He made promises, and said whatever he had to say to get elected. I think it was on Bill Maher someone said, “It is sad that Dick Cheney and Iowa are more liberal than Obama and California.”

  3. says

    So much for the justice system standing up for the rights of the minorities. The fact that the current administartion may be thinking about possibly reviewing the policy is not a rational response to discrimination. They can’t even be bothered to listen to the case.

  4. Surprised says

    The Surpreme Court denies gays rights? Blame Nobama!

    (Procedes to dance like fellow Free Republic jerk offs Jeremy and Paul C)

  5. K in VA says

    No! The Margaret Witt case from the 9th Circuit is the battle to fight all the way to the Supreme Court. This case was a loser.

  6. ohplease says

    Paul C, I’m so sorry John McCain and Sarah Palin aren’t running this country, too. What were we thinking voting for Barack Obama? What fools we were!

    Oh, wait — John McCain was a powerless sell-out and Sarah Palin was evil, stupid and insane.

    Maybe you voted for one of the fringe candidates? Since those votes had the same effect as being votes for McCain, same outcome.

    I guess my question is: if you’re so smart, why did you vote — either directly or indirectly –for John McCain?

    I’m glad your candidate was defeated last year and I would work just as hard to defeat your candidate all over again. This is the best we could ever expect to work with. Maybe you should be a little less angry and a little more rational.

  7. David says

    Contrary to what many may think, this is a positive outcome. Do not forget that this court is very conservative, Had the case been taken up by the court and a negative handed down, it would have set back the cause of repeal by years. A legislative course is the way to go on DADT.

  8. Eric says

    To be fair, the Court did not agree with the lower court. They simply denied certiorari. A denial of cert. is not a judgment on the merits of a case.

  9. Lar says

    Do you guys have writers with even a basic understanding of how the law works, or do you just make things up as you go along?

    You do a disservice to your readers when you say the USSC “agreed” with the lower court’s ruling. It did no such thing.

  10. says

    Also the SC will turn down a case if there is another case thats better put together on tis way. And there also is the chance the the SC turned down hearing it because they thinbk or know Legistaive change is on the way and they don’t want to clog their schedule with something thats being or will be taken care os legislatively.

  11. Nelson says

    @ Derek

    I agree with you there.

    Why are the middle-aged white gay men on this blog so damn ignorant?

    It must be Log Cabin’s disease.

    Anyone who think McCain/Sarah Palin would have been a better ticket for gay rights is a sell out to their gay brothers and sisters and if you thought they would have been better in the oval office overall, you are as stupid as the white crackers and barefoot cousins who were at McCain’s losing speech.After Obama won the election.

    Are all middle-aged white gay men suffering from LCD (Log Cabin’s Disease)?

    They must be,because it seems they are they only one’s who seem to think McCain/Palin would have been better for gay rights. Those tralier park losers made it LOUD and CLEAR that they were against gays.But it seems the only people who are smart enough to comprehend that are most in my generation (generation Y) Those of us ranging from ages 18 to about 30.

    Im not comparing anyone’s head to a butt-plug,but for many of the old ignorant queens on this blog,your head spends alot of time up your ass.To say the least.

  12. Nelson says

    Those tralier park losers made it LOUD and CLEAR that they were against gays.

    Thats suppose to read “Trailer Park”

    get so damn pissed off I make typos

  13. Glenn says

    Derek, while it’s true that Obama is not to “blame” for what the USSC does, don’t forget that his administration filed a brief asking the court not to hear the appeal.

    But I am totally with the above commenters that this denial of cert says absolutely nothing about the merits, and the statement that the USSC “agreed” with the lower court is just as wrong as it can be.

  14. paul c says

    If people would take two seconds to get their news from places other than Towleroad or the Daily Show, they would have a better idea of what’s going on.


    “WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court has turned down a challenge to the Defense Department policy forbidding gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, granting a request by the Obama administration.”

    It was REQUESTED by the OBAMA administration. They don’t even want to give these gay men and women a chance to argue their case to the Supreme Court.

    @ohplease – That’s cute that you think there are only two parties with candidates in the presidential election. Dumb as all fuck, but just preciously naive and quaint.

  15. Chitown Kev says

    If anything, since there are no federal protections for GLBTs on the books, the courts did us a favor in not hearing the case. You can’t make up law out of thin air and the court would be required (if they heard the case) to uphold the law as written, not what we want it to be.

    This would have not come out in our favor if it had gone to the Supreme Court.

  16. crispy says

    I know, Nelson! Wuts wit all these dumb ol’ honky queens up in here?

    Gurrrrl, text me on my iphone… I gotz a killer new pink sparkly case! Or better, tweet me! We’ll catch up at da club and trip to sum GaGa. Lates!

  17. Derrick from Philly says

    ” I gotz a killer new pink sparkly case!”

    “Gotz” Now, now, CRISPY, you’re mixing old Hollywood style Negro dialect with contemporary urban Ebonics. You know better than that.

    “I gotz”….no you didn’t, Miss Thang.

  18. Chitown Kev says

    Excuse me, why are some of you (presumably) racial minority queens playing the race card? Unless you are truly trolls?

    Everybody needs to chill on that dumb racial shit, please!

  19. says

    Nelson –

    your vituperative assessment is noted. we only hope that you don’t ever have to rely on pledges and advancement promises while you watch your friends and loved ones waste away and die waiting for help. it might give you a different perspective.

    by the way, there is nothing wrong with “ignorance”. it only means you don’t know something, and you can find out about it.

    “stupidity”, on the other hand, means knowing that something is wrong and doing it anyway.

    “idiocy” is being too stupid to know that you’re ignorant.

  20. mike says

    That knife in the back hurts, doesn’t it? Well, so much for “change we can believe in”. Once again, for expediency’s sake, gay men and women have been kicked in the teeth by the Obama administration, which took the side of the Pentagon before the Supreme Court. What does that tell us? It tells us that we can’t trust any politician anymore. It also tells us that it is time to get, um, NASTY about these things.

  21. crispy says

    Derrick, I was going for vapid gay youth… all skin tones represented.

    But I am so old and unhip, I have clearly failed. Nelson is probably laughing into his TwatBook. Or whatever the kids are into these days.

  22. Kugel says

    Ah, yes: for the one-issue voter. Who cares that MCcAin/Palin would do nothing about health care, sit on their hands during a recession, perpetuate the war in Iraq indefinitely, AND be unashamedly anti-gay, vote GOP!

    Really, for a reality check about GOP policies, Google images: Iraq War Dead with safe search off, and look at where the last GOP president got us (and Al Gore didn’t have ‘pure’ LGBT stances either).

    And NYSMIKE: Hillary’s positions on LGBT issues were indistinguishable to Obama’s, regardless of how much we all adore the Strong Woman.

  23. Derrick from Philly says

    Actually, CRISPY, you must be more hip than I am because I didn’t understand the slang at all…and I don’t like young people anway (except for football players).


    believe it not, there is a sort of racial etiquette that most visitors to Towleroad follow(even me). Once in while I’ll throw a racial slur but it’s usually in response to some anti-black slur.

    I know how you feel. I am sticking with Obama the same way I stuck with Bill Clinton (after bowing to the conservatives, withdrawing the name of Lani Gruinier–who’s name I’ll never spell right); I stuck with Jimmy Carter(after he fired Andrew Young for speaking to the Palestinians)& I stuck with Lyndon Johnson (Viet Nam).

    There are many gay folks (on this blog) who voted for President Obama who are genuinely disappointed. Yes, after only 5 months they think he’s an enemy–sold out to the Right, or some think he’s actually anti-gay. HE IS A POLITICIAN—and like the other Democratic presidents, he moved to the center….dammit.

    When it comes to politics, I am a Democrat first, a homo second. (did I say that?) Barack Obama would have to invade Canada for me to loose my loyalty to him….he could have New Jersey without a fight.

    “Forget McCain/Palin…we coulda and shoulda had Hillary!”

    You got her…in my President’s state department.

  24. Vi Agara says

    @Paul C. “As angry as I am right now, I can’t even imagine what I would feel like if I had contributed money, or gone to the DNC convention, turned my website into a 24/7 Obama propaganda machine…or voted for him.

    The naivete of youth.

  25. says

    Dudes; it’s too early to start hammering Obama,5 months of dealing with an economic disaster bequeathed by Bush/Chaney junta, hasn’t left him with much time to focus on our issues……I truly believe he won’t let us down and will turn to gay rights before the year is out. As for McCain/Palin….fuck em.

  26. Chitown Kev says


    Thank you on the etiquette tip.

    Politically, I’m an independent and I always have bee though, of course, I voted for the homie (of course, under the “homie” scenario, I’d have voted for Hillary too, since she’s from Park Ridge). I for one stuck with Bill Clinton with the Lani Guinier drama but not after Jocelyn Elders and DOMA (I sat out the ’96 election). I’d have no problem voting Green in 2012.

  27. Stanley R. Dixon says

    Personally, I believe court challenges are not the correct way to go. Unlike regular employers, the military never was an equal opportunity employer. A lot of other people are barred from serving in the military. Serving in the military has always been a privilege (if you want to call it that), never a right. Decisions governing military personnel have always been determined by politicians, such as the decisions made by presidents (such as Truman) or by the legislature. I would have been surprised if the courts had interfered in that. I would hope that an enlightened Congress will repeal the ban, and that an enlightened President will sign it. But it is their ban to repeal.

    For the record, I’m a gay Vietnam-era Army veteran.

  28. Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com says

    Yes, on its face the administrations action was PROBABLY [but not certainly] a good idea given the Court’s current occupants. Still, Justice Kennedy has grown on gay isses [he was the swing vote and decision writer in “Romer” & “Lawrence”] from when he was an Appelate Judge and ruled against gays challenging their discharges. But it might not have grown enough given he sided with other Supremes for the Boy Scouts.

    HOWEVER, surely the administration could have found different language than declaring in their court papers that DADT is “rationally related to the government’s legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion.”

    How can they eventually go to Congress AS PROMISED and ask for repeal saying, “Sorry, we didn’t mean it”?

  29. David B. 2 says

    Oh and RE: hillary – don’t we have her hubby for this political stop-gap from the 90s which has gone on too long!

    No love from any quarter — we will have to stay out of the military and at home where we can work on the gay agenda — Yay!