Barack Obama | Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Military | News | Valerie Jarrett

Watch: Valerie Jarrett Says Many Who Oppose DOJ Appealing 'DADT' Injunction Don't Understand the Process

White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett this morning defended the Department of Justice appeal of the injunciton placed on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", the Wonk Room reports.

Jarrett Said Jarrett to American Morning: "You know what, the Justice Department is required to defend the law of the land. Believe me, we wish there were another way because the President has been so clear. And I think there are many members of the gay community who actually understand this and who are work with us to try to put pressure on Congress to repeal it. It’s clear at that vast majority of American people think that it should not be the law. And we are determined to have Congress revoke it. But we have to go through that orderly process."

In related news, an AP article posted this morning attempts to explain why White House lawyers are fighting to keep the policy in place even though Obama says he wants it repealed:

The tradition flows directly from the president's constitutional duty to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, says Paul Clement, who served four years in President George W. Bush's administration as solicitor general, the executive branch's top lawyer at the Supreme Court.

Otherwise, Clement says, the nation would be subjected to "the spectacle of the executive branch defending only laws it likes, with Congress intervening to defend others."

Another AP article revives many of the ugly conservative talking points on the issue:

"Will straight and gay troops have to shower next to one another?...If the military lifts the ban suddenly, would there be attacks on gays? Would religious parents, coaches and teachers who oppose gay rights persuade young recruits not to enlist? If a platoon member says he is gay, would his comrades still support him, or would there be infighting? Conway, the Marine Corps commandant, claims, by his own informal survey of the force, some 90 to 95 percent oppose letting gays serve openly. 'We recruit a certain type of young American, pretty macho guy or gal, that is willing to go fight and perhaps die for their country,' he said."

Watch Jarrett defend the DOJ and Obama, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Guess it's part of our "lifestyle choice". Um, no:

    This insider is who they choose to speak on behalf of the admin's lgbt outreach? No understanding.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 21, 2010 10:43:07 AM

  2. So a Justice Department defense is a pro-forma part of the Constitutional legal process, according to the FA and his spokesmodels. Is that why the DOMA brief his Justice Department filed last year compared our unions to pedophilia and bigamy?

    Posted by: MikeMick | Oct 21, 2010 10:45:53 AM

  3. The only thing worse than doing it is spinning it. Insult to injury.

    I know Obama's in a tough spot on this one, but I'm tired of being kicked under the bus for his political expediency. It has happened too many times.

    At some point, somebody has to do the right thing.

    Posted by: Trev | Oct 21, 2010 10:55:17 AM

  4. First, the Justice Dept already "defended" DADT in court. They lost. We aren't talking about "defending" laws any longer. Now we are talking about "appealing". So Ms Jarrett's claim that they must "defend" the law is irrelevant. They already defended and lost.

    Secondly, if she meant they must also "appeal" after losing, why has the Justice department said they will NOT APPEAL the court ruling they lost in regard to the Christian's right to pass out literature in National Parks?

    Posted by: Tim NC | Oct 21, 2010 10:56:33 AM

  5. You lying whore. Fuck you and your lifestyle choice bullshit.

    YOU do not understand the process.

    Posted by: Gridlock | Oct 21, 2010 10:57:25 AM

  6. Another thought:

    Inform the court that the exec branch feels the law is unconstitutional. (Which Obama has not come out and said yet; perhaps saving this for if the lame-duck session fails?)

    We'll all be self-taught lawyers by the time this whole thing is over.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Oct 21, 2010 10:58:51 AM


    Posted by: ila lwara | Oct 21, 2010 11:03:24 AM

  8. @ Matthew - Or, maybe, we'll finally reason that he may not have come out and said that it is unconstitutional because he does not believe it is unconstitutional. He believes it's 'wrong'. Those are very different positions to hold.

    Posted by: Alton C | Oct 21, 2010 11:08:24 AM

  9. Let us please not stay as ignorant as the Tea baggers. The Government must protect the constitution, period.Obama can sign a law he can not make a law, if he were to not defend the law, however unsavory, the Palins and Rushes would have a field day, and continue to call him a Commie. We here should be a little more aware of the laws if not, we just look like fools.

    Posted by: hassia | Oct 21, 2010 11:12:56 AM

  10. There is going to be a full-scale political revolt of all GLBT people in this country, and poor Nancy Pelosi is going to be F'd.

    This is *all* of the President's doing. He knows he's not obligated to defend DADT in the courts; there's plenty of precedent for other Presidents not supporting laws they thought were unconstitutional. This is why Obama has refused to say he thinks DADT is unconstitutional. The fact of the matter is we're getting lip service and Obama's more than happy to be the military's lap dog on this one and delay DADT from being repealed for every last second he can get, his entire term in office if it's possible.

    Well, gay people vote in some of the highest numbers out of any demographic in the entire country --- and up to this point, it's almost been unanimously for the Democratic Party. A lot of GLBT people aren't going to do that this time around -- some will switch their votes in protest, many more will probably choose to sit this one out. The President risks the entire GLBT component of the umbrella of groups needed to push Democrats through nationally... possibly forever. He's being freaking ridiculous and stupid -- not to mention bigoted.

    Well, he has only himself to blame, as 15-20 seats (or more) will be decided in the law single digits, enough to provide the buffer Democrats will need to keep the House, and Obama flushes the gay vote down the toilet that could have made the difference. Oh well.

    Posted by: Ryan | Oct 21, 2010 11:15:49 AM

  11. You know what, I don't know a single member of the gay community who understands the presidents predicament re DADT (and honey, I get around).

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | Oct 21, 2010 11:17:05 AM


    Posted by: Jerry | Oct 21, 2010 11:23:13 AM

  13. The Presidents perdiciment is a personal one. HE does not want LGBT Rights to be his legacy.

    Thats why he is insisting it all goes through Congress so they are responsible and he signs the papaer. Obama says he thinks DADT is wrong but then when he could have not appealed or or told the court that he thought it was unconstitution he didn't. because then that would be his legacy. One that he obviosuly doesn't want.

    Anyone up to sending The white House rolls of toilet papaer since they are so full of shit?

    Posted by: Jeff | Oct 21, 2010 11:24:14 AM

  14. Apparently Ms. Jarrett was out of town last week when the Obama Justice Department declined to appeal against a ruling that found a law prohibiting the distribution of proselytizing materials in national parks an unconstitutional infringement of the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion. It's not like it was announced in the Washington Post or anything like that.

    So if the Department of Justice has this intrinsic duty to appeal all rulings against the government, can we expect to hear from AG Holder that he's going back to court on that one today? And if not, can someone manage to find a justification for why the DOJ "has" to appeal against the finding that DADT is unconstitutional when it doesn't have to file an appeal in the other case? And please, try to come up with something that doesn't just make you look like a bigger bunch of ignorant homophobes than you already do.

    Posted by: Michael | Oct 21, 2010 11:24:51 AM

  15. From Newsweek: "…Many scholars say that there is no requirement for Obama to appeal. “The president has complete authority not to appeal the decision in these cases,” says Turley, who in 1989 successfully argued in federal appeals court for overturning a law and saw the George H.W. Bush administration choose not to ask the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of that decision. 'The appeal is completely discretionary. Whatever duty the president has to defend the existing statute was satisfied before the trial court.'”

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 21, 2010 11:32:16 AM

  16. The administration is treating this issue like its radioactive. We can see that. Their refusal to show leadership is only too apparent.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | Oct 21, 2010 11:32:55 AM

  17. My understanding is that Obama et al wants the removal of DADT to come from Congress rather than the DOJ in order to avoid the lawsuits that would follow if it came from the DOJ. Am I wrong about this? Why Valerie J is the point person on this is beyond my understanding but if that't the game plan I think Obama deserves some credit.

    Posted by: Arthur | Oct 21, 2010 11:35:47 AM

  18. Americans, including American soldiers, have to seriously consider living in Canada or Europe and helping those countries, because they actually want workers at all levels, straight or gay, to help them build their societies. I know not everyone has the chance, but if you do, check it out -- it seriously is a different world outside the US in some places, where you're totally free love someone and live your life.

    Posted by: X | Oct 21, 2010 11:39:10 AM

  19. Fuck Obama - the useless, homophobic bigot.

    The Greens will be getting my vote.

    Posted by: Martin Murray | Oct 21, 2010 11:39:55 AM

  20. Also, the timing and optics of this are spectacularly discouraging and dissapointing, obviously.

    This is a nightmare of the administrations making now. It hasn't always been, to be fair, but their hot potato mishandling of the issue speaks for itself.

    I never assumed Obama saw GLTB rights as a priority, he's a moderate conservative, but I also never foresaw the administrations contemptuous and ruinous mishandling of its own progressive base.

    Listening to Rahm Emanuel's gospel has been a disaster for Obama. Gay rights are in a new moment, and this isn't the Clinton era. It's astouding they haven't gleaned that.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | Oct 21, 2010 11:42:04 AM

  21. Some credit for a plan of inaction that hasn't the slightest chance of working out? Congress will not repeal DADT, and when the dems lose the house, an unknown known will becoming a known known. But Obama feels he can get away with this (people do what they can get away with--and that is especially true for politicians), because where else will the "lifestyle choicers",aka, fags go in 2012? There is no other way to look at this but as a stunning insult.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 21, 2010 11:43:25 AM

  22. Here is a link to another blog that has a very good explanation of just how wrong Ms Jarrett is with lots of examples and links to data that prove it

    Posted by: Tim NC | Oct 21, 2010 11:45:03 AM

  23. It seems to me that the Justice Department's first duty should be to defend the Constitution, then secondarily laws passed by Congress.

    Since this law is blatantly unconstitutional, there should be no shame in simply accepting the judgment of the court.

    Posted by: Tom | Oct 21, 2010 11:45:59 AM

  24. He does need to defend it. That's just the way it goes. I understand that. Otherwise some district judge could declare healthcare unconstitutional in the future and (future president) Palin could easily decline to fight it. So it's important that he do this.

    That being said, there is more that can be done. The Executive Branch could also say it's unconstitutional in their defense. They can present the argument in their defense. That way, should it reach the supreme court, that could play into their decision. This is the thing that the gov't needs to do that they are ignoring, and that is what disappoints me.

    Posted by: Dan4444 | Oct 21, 2010 12:02:41 PM

  25. How does this administration expect to overturn DADT when one of the most extreme homophobes, Sen. McCain, has made it his life's work trying to stop the repeal? Seriously, Congress is NOT going to repeal DADT anytime soon. So if they won't do the right thing, the courts are going to have to.

    Posted by: David in Houston | Oct 21, 2010 12:07:14 PM

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