In the Huffington Post, Unfriendly Fire author Nathaniel Frank questions Obama's use of signing statements with regard to his refusal to halt discharges under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell":
"According to the New York Times, the President has used signing statements–which
instruct officials to ignore portions of Congressional law–five times
to challenge nineteen provisions of federal statute, including a law
restricting the use of U.S. troops in United Nations commands and a war
spending bill that funds troops and U.S. operations worldwide.
These signing statements, when used by President Bush around 1200
times, were reviled by the Progressive community for usurping
Congressional authority, and President Obama vowed during his campaign
to use them with 'restraint.' Whether he has done so is debatable. But
what's not debatable is this: A signing statement that tells executive
officials to ignore Congressional law is a far more aggressive exercise
of the President's power than using his stop-loss authority to allow
willing gay service members to continue serving their country. This is because the stop-loss powers, unlike signing statements, have been explicitly granted to the President by Congress in a 1983 statute, 10 U.S.C. § 12305."
In related news, in an interview with U.S. News, Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese is asked about Obama and gay rights. One of the topics covered is DADT. Solmonese is asked whether he's confident that Obama will overturn it.
Says Solmonese: "I'm certain. The president has made the commitment, and people working
for the president that we work with have made the commitment. I have no
doubt it will be overturned. The administration views this in the context of the broader issues
agenda they are working with Congress on, everything from the economy
and healthcare to hate crimes. They see the overturning of don't ask,
don't tell along that spectrum as something that will likely happen
next spring. I see a road map of six-month windows: the hate crimes
bill, then the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, then don't ask, don't
tell. And the administration is building a case in the military
leadership and Congress and the rank-and-file members of the military…I don't see them dragging their feet. But where the LGBT community is
feeling frustration is that the road map and timetable have not been
made as clear to them."