New guidance has been issued regarding "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" following the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' approval yesterday of an emergency stay against Judge Virginia Phillips' injunction barring enforcement of the measure.
Until further notice, pursuant to a memorandum from Defense Secretary Robert Gates and a follow-up memorandum from Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford Stanley, no service member can be discharged under DADT without the ''personal approval of the secretary of the military department concerned, and only in coordination with me and the General Counsel of the Department of Defense.''
A senior defense department lawyer briefed reporters on Thursday afternoon about the memos, saying, ''These two memos are primarily in reaction to … the temporary stay last night. We are clearly in a legally uncertain territory.''
When asked if the ''coordination'' required would allow Johnson or Stanley to effectively ''veto'' the decision of a service secretary, the lawyer said that that is not the case. He said that the purpose of the change was ''to ensure greater uniformity and care in the enforcement of the law.''