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.