The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted a request from the Department of Justice for a stay in the injunction imposed by Judge Virginia Phillips barring enforcement of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".
Talking Points Memo reports that the court issued a one-page order:
"This court has received appellant's emergency motion to stay the district court's October 12, 2010 order pending appeal. The order is stayed temporarily in order to provide this court with an opportunity to consider fully the issues presented. Appellee may file an opposition to the motion for a stay pending appeal by October 25, 2010. To expedite consideration of the motion, no reply shall be filed."
This does not immediately change the military's policy of not enforcing DADT, as the Oct. 15 guidance from Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford Stanley stated that, while seeking a stay, "the Department of Defense will abide by the terms of the injunction" and stated that "additional guidance" would come if a stay is granted.
This also is not a stay of the order that will last through the appeal. This is only a temporary stay granted through the time when the Ninth Circuit can decide — sometime after the Oct. 25 deadline given to the LCR attorneys to respond to the stay request — whether to issue a stay pending the outcome of the appeal. The decision will likely come soon after the Oct. 25 submission by LCR because the court will not hear oral arguments in the case and stated in its order that the government will not be allowed to file a reply brief, which would happen in the ordinary course of appellate briefing.
If a stay is granted pending the appeal, however, DADT would likely go back into effect in the interim, as the appeal is not even scheduled to complete the briefing process until the second week of March 2011.
Anybody else have a bad case of whiplash?