Federal Judge Blocks Enforcement of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
Judge Virginia Philips last month found the policy unconstitutional in her ruling on a lawsuit brought by the Log Cabin Republicans and said she would issue an injunction blocking the Defense Department from enforcing the policy and discharging openly gay servicemembers.
The Justice Department objected.
“A court should not compel the executive to implement an immediate cessation of the 17-year-old policy without regard for any effect such an abrupt change might have on the military’s operations, particularly at a time when the military is engaged in combat operations and other demanding military activities around the globe,” attorneys said in their objection, filed in U.S. District Court in California.
In her injunction today, Philips ordered the DOD “immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding, that may have been commenced under the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Act.”
She also wrote that DADT “infringes the fundamental rights of United States servicemembers and prospective servicemembers.”
In an amended opinion filed with the injunction, Philips wrote that although “judicial deference” to Congress is at its peak concerning the armed forces, “deference does not mean abdication.”
A spokeswoman for the DOJ said the department is reviewing the injunction and has no comment.