Justice Dept. to Continue Defending ‘DADT’ in Court This Week

The NYT notes that the Log Cabin Republican court case challenging 'DADT' continues:

Dadt This week, Mr. Obama’s Justice Department is expected to file papers with a federal court in California that, essentially, defend the original policy.

Meanwhile, the system for discharging people found to be gay has not been dismantled.

So what’s going on? Is “don’t ask, don’t tell” a legal zombie — dead but still walking around? Even those involved in the case say they find the situation absurd — and frustrating.

“Why is the case still alive?” asked R. Clarke Cooper, the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, the group that sued in federal court to have the policy overturned. “A lot of people would be surprised to know that the discharge panels are still in place.”

The problem, Mr. Cooper explained, is one of timing: “don’t ask, don’t tell” is not quite dead, and so the fight over killing it in the courts is still, improbably, alive.

The DOj tries to explain:

Tracy Schmaler, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, noted the traditional role of the executive branch in defending statutes passed by Congress, and added, “In light of the Congressional vote to repeal the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ policy, we are working with the Department of Defense to take the appropriate steps in pending cases to conform with the recently passed law and the process established for repealing this policy.”

Dan Woods, the lawyer for the Log Cabin Republicans, said, “The sad thing is that they are fighting for a policy that the president admits is bad for the military.” Now that Congress has acted, the administration’s straddle is more uncomfortable still.


  1. Rob says

    “…the traditional role of the executive branch in defending statutes passed by Congress…”

    Excuse me but I thought Obama was a new leader for 21st-century America. Why is his DOJ making this outdated statement about something he himself considers un-Constitutional? Furthermore, many Constitutional legal scholars say this defensive statement is NOT required of this or any other administration.

    Whatever happened to “Yes, We Can”, especially when it comes to making a difference for a segment of the citizenry that Obama supposedly supports (and, in large measure, supported his presidential campaign)?

    It’s time to set new rules for our time and our place and leave the 20th century behind. Stop defending antiquated laws that violate the civil rights of GLBT citizens.

  2. Chip says

    Stop blaming Obama. If you do, you’re only showing your ignorance. The President of the United States cannot dictate litigation policy to the Department of Justice or command them to act in one way or another in pending litigation. It’s against the law. George W. Bush tried to do that and that’s why a federal appellate court stopped him.

  3. Michael@LeonardMatlovich.com says

    No, Chip, YOU are the voluntary CRETIN here. The DOJ is a part of the Executive Branch which REPORTS TO Obama, as its director, the Attorney General, does.

    So pull your head out of Obama’s ass and read all the stories this morning about Obama telling them NOT to defend DOMA-3 anymore!