The White House gives Sam Stein at the Huffington Post an excuse for why it's limiting discussion at today's 'DADT' meeting to a lame duck strategy session and refusing to discuss any court cases on the topic:
Among LGBT activists, the leaked invitation was interpreted as evidence that the administration is not only punting on Don't Ask Don't Tell (the Justice Department is set to repeal a ruling overturning the 17-year old policy) but also unwilling to hear dissenting opinions.
Asked for comment, however, an administration official stressed that there are very precise legal lines that can't be crossed. One of them is talking about ongoing litigation with litigants in the room.
"Some of the participants in the meeting are involved in active litigation against the government on the issue of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, so it wouldn't be appropriate to discuss that litigation," said the administration official "This is standard procedure for any meeting where that would be the case."
"You could add further that our lawyers can't have contact with represented parties without their counsel being present."
The explanation seems to make logical sense and dispels, to a certain extent, the notion that the White House wants to choke off any discussion of its position on DADT. But it raises a follow-up question; mainly, why hold a meeting with the counsel's office in the first place if the purpose is to discuss legislative strategy?