Department of Justice Appeals Judge’s Order That Lesbian Nurse Margaret Witt, Discharged Under DADT, Be Reinstated

The Department of Justice late this afternoon appealed a September ruling ordering the Air Force to reinstate lesbian flight nurse Margaret Witt, who was suspended in 2004, and ultimately discharged under the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy.

The WaPo reports: Witt

"U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton in Tacoma ruled in September that Maj. Margaret Witt's dismissal under the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy violated her rights. Witt was suspended in 2004 and subsequently discharged after the Air Force learned she had been in a long-term relationship with a civilian woman. She sued to get her job back. The Justice Department filed the appeal with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, the deadline for doing so. The government is also appealing a ruling from a federal judge in California that found the "don't ask, don't tell" policy unconstitutional."

The government, however, did not ask the court to stay the decision, suggesting that Witt may serve during the appeal.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs released the following statement:

“Today, the Department of Justice filed a notice of appeal in a case involving a legal challenge to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy, as the Department traditionally does when acts of Congress have been held unconstitutional.  This filing in no way diminishes the President’s — and his Administration’s — firm commitment to achieving a legislative repeal of DADT this year.  Indeed, it clearly shows why Congress must act to end this misguided policy.  In recent weeks, the President and other Administration officials have been working with the Senate to move forward with the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, including a repeal of DADT, during the lame duck.”


  1. Max says

    “This filing in no way diminishes the President’s — and his Administration’s — firm commitment to achieving a legislative repeal of DADT this year.”

    Anyone still deluded enough to believe this?

  2. Steve M. says

    I’m just waiting for all the delusional Obama apologists to jump on this and remind us that…um…words speak louder than actions…or something…

  3. justiceontherocks says

    Until they come up with some reason a legislative repeal is preferable to a judicial finding of unconstitutionality, we can assume that the DOD has the fierece advocate by the short haris and won’t let go.

    This is just another case of the Obama crowd trying to be all things to all people and winding up being nothing to anyone. They care about beign re-elected: period.

  4. psgoodguy says

    if i hear “This filing in no way diminishes the President’s — and his Administration’s — firm commitment to achieving a legislative repeal of DADT this year” one more time i’m going to scream.

  5. Abe says

    Welcome to Obama’s world, folks – where being committed to something means obstructing it at every turn…but don’t get any crazy ideas in your heads about voting for anyone else! After all, where would we be if (fill in the blank) was elected? Why, all kinds of terrible things would have happened, like the government refusing to grant marriage rights to gays, or the government refusing to repeal DADT, or…pretty much everything that’s going on now.

    Seriously, though, I am absolutely shocked that Obama has not had the foresight to record a “It Gets Better” video. It’s right up his alley, really: empty promises wrapped up in an ego-satisfying publicity stunt.

  6. says

    I haven’t voted for a Democrat since 1996 so I can proudly stand up and say I’ve never voted for something or someone I don’t believe. Can you Obamanauts do the same? Pull your lips away from Obama’s ass crack and explain to the gay kids killing themselves why voting for bigots who fight to keep us unequal is the best way to win equality?

  7. says

    The Mad Hatter has taken over the Administration and the DOJ:

    “I’m considering things beginning with the letter M”.

  8. Steve says

    Utterly stupid. This is an “as applied” challenge. The Witt standard is already established. This doesn’t affect the existence of DADT at all

  9. Rich says

    It looks like the Democrats’ appeal to LGBT voters will once again be “Our opponents are even more odious.”

    Should the Courts uphold Judge Phillips’ decision (ending DADT), I hope the U.S. government is hit with massive punitive damages for wrongful discharges.

  10. Zlick says

    So what if every self-respecting LGBT person in America doesn’t vote for Obama in 2012? I don’t think that quite puts a dent in it. That may be his political calculation, but I don’t see anything wrong with his math.

  11. says

    It’s not all about Obama, folks. And it’s not about who we’re going to vote for in 2012 since who knows who the candidates will be, and, like it or not, we have the President we have until then. There are plenty of Democratic senators and perhaps a tiny handful of Republican senators who will vote for the repeal of DADT as soon as it gets to them. Pressure your senators to get the ball rolling and get this done, with or without Obama’s help.

  12. FunMe says

    What we have ALWAYS known: Obama and his administration is made up of a gang of HOMOPHOBES.

    Still can’t figure out why any GLBT person is still supporting that fraud.

  13. Yeah, What? says

    Where is everyone that was having a seizure in the comments section of the GOProud article from last week? I’m interested in their “Yay, Democrats! Suck it gay turncoat fiscal conservatives!” views in light of this.

  14. Randy says

    “Indeed, it clearly shows why Congress must act to end this misguided policy.”


    “Stop me! Stop me before I appeal again!”

    Obama is so revolting. Democrats must not re-nominate him for 2012. He has no chance. Give someone else a chance NOW so they’ll be prepared to win in 2012.

  15. Rob G. says

    OK…so let’s have examples of other laws which the DOJ has refused to defend.

    We’re being singled out?


    The law sucks. It’s the law.

    Change the law.


  16. Tim says

    That’s an easy one, Rob G. The Obama Administration let stand, and did not challenge, a ruling allowing people to proselytize their religious beliefs in National Parks. So, in other words, fight for a political constituency that you would like to support you but never will, but stab in the back (and heart) a political constituency that supported you but never should again.

    To read more about The Obama DOJ hypocrisy:

  17. the greasybear says

    Sean, nobody is claiming the two court cases are indistinguishable. All cases are distinguishable.

    Rather, the point in showing everyone an example of Obama’s DOJ “declining” to appeal an adverse ruling just last month is to strip away the lie that it cannot ever happen.

    The DOJ can decline to appeal adverse rulings. It does so. It did so last month–but not for us. Despite all the happy lies, the Obama administration actively discriminates against gays BY CHOICE.