Sunday, October 2, 2011
Legal Challenge to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Dismissed
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed a seven-year-old suit challenging the constitutionality of the anti-gay "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on the grounds that, since the policy has officially been repealed, the legal controversy has now ended and rendered the case moot. Over a year ago a federal judge ruled in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was a violation of gay, lesbian and bisexual soldiers' First and Fifth Amendment rights. Now, if a future Congress decided to reinstate the policy, opponents would have to start a new lawsuit from scratch in order to challenge it. Jon Davidson of Lambda Legal, a prominent LGBT civil rights organization, issued a statement saying that the 9th Circuit's decision to dismiss the suit effectively ignores the 14,000 servicemen and women who lost their jobs and benefits since DADT was enacted in 1993.