Obama Wants DADT Reinstated (Up Dated)

The Department of Justice has filed a brief in the 9th Circuit Court to reinstate DADT that was ordered immediately stopped by the court. The brief cited “real and immediate harm.” Now remember, the DOJ has decided not to enforce the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) or to defend it from being overturned as it winds its way through the courts. Knowing that, I would not want to be the US Attorney trying to explain the rational for this request to the judges of the 9th Circuit.

David Dayen at FDL sheds some light on this seemingly paradoxical pursuit:

The meat of the DoJ order is right here:

   In sum, the government argues that lifting the stay unjustifiably takes the authority for repealing DADT away from the executive branch and it does so, at least in part, because of confusion by the Ninth Circuit panel regarding the DOJ’s view of whether DADT is constitutional after the passage of the repeal act and regarding the application of the DOJ’s DOMA decisions to military laws like DADT.

The executive branch wants to defend its policy work and doesn’t want the court bigfooting around finding its laws unconstitutional. Unless we’re talking about DOMA, where that’s precisely what DoJ has requested.

It looks like a question of who gets the power to overturn DADT. The President wants his signing ceremony.

The court is confused? Well, they’re not alone and that twisted argument made my back hurt. The reality is that this is all about the president’s ego and reelection and those pesky gays should be grateful.

Up Date: From John Aravosis at AMERICAblog Gay

9th Circuit again tells Obama administration to stop discharging gays

Oral arguments are set for September 1st in Pasadena, CA.

9th Circuit Court Orders Military To Stop Enforcing DADT

Court Rules Against Ban on Gays in the Military

The government must stop enforcing the law that prohibits openly gay men, lesbians and bisexuals from serving in the military, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday.

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a two-page order against the policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” in a case brought by the group Log Cabin Republicans.

In 2010, a federal judge in California, Virginia A. Phillips, ruled that the law was unconstitutional and ordered the government to stop enforcing it. That decision was appealed to the Ninth Circuit, which issued a stay allowing the government to continue enforcing the policy as it made its way through the courts.

Congress repealed the policy last year, but called for a lengthy process of preparation, training and certification, still under way, before ending it. While the government has significantly narrowed enforcement, some discharges continued. And while the Obama administration had advocated the Congressional repeal, it had asked the court to keep the stay in place until the policy could be ended in an orderly fashion.

This is very welcome news. Joe Sudbay at AMERICAblog Gay gives the best explanation of what this ruling means:

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay of the District Court’s injunction against enforcing DADT. When DADT was found unconstitutional in the Log Cabin case last October, the District Court judge issued an injunction against its enforcement. And, Judge Phillips refused to grant a stay pending appeal. Despite numerous requests (including 21 U.S. Senators) that the Department of Justice not appeal this decision, DOJ did. DOJ also immediately went to the Ninth Circuit asking for a stay pending appeal, which was granted. Today, the Ninth Circuit lifted that stay, meaning DADT can’t be enforced anywhere in the world.

It is still not safe for gays in the military to reveal themselves. Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, deocrated US Air Force fighter pilot, appeared with Rachel Maddow to discuss the aspects of this latest ruling

Look Over Here. Nothing Is As It Appears

While the MSM is panting over President Obama’s unannounced visit to Bahgram Air Base in Afghanistan, his now canceled teleconferenced meeting with Afghan President Karzai and his address to the troops, the other important news that is getting lost in the frenzy.

Judging from the headlines, the media would have us all believe that the President’s Debt Commission (Cat Food Commission) had approved its final report.

Politico has since changed its headline from “Divided deficit group approves proposal” to the more accurate “Debt panel falls short on votes”

Both CNN and the NYT are touting that the report has bipartisan approval. They would like us to believe that a commission packed with deficit hawks determined to reduce the deficit on the backs of the middle class and the elderly is a great plan because the multimillionaires on the committee embraced it.

Then there is the news about jobs growth, or rather the lack of it, and the increase in unemployment numbers. The poor and unemployed are likely to stay that way and their numbers will grow between now and 2012 if the Republicans and blue dog Democrats have their way.

The Senate hearings on the repeal of DADT extended into it’s second day with some “heroes”, like Sen. Tester making really good argument for repeal now and the villains, like homophobic Sen. McCain who wants to hear from everyone in the military this will affect over the “next year”. Amazingly the biggest “hero” today was Defense Secretary Gates who told GOP Senators that “polling troops on policy decisions is a dangerous affront to our nation’s unbroken history of civilian control over the military”:

GATES: I can’t think of a single precedent in America history of doing a referendum of the American Armed Forces on a policy issue. Are you going to ask them if they want 15-month tours? Are you going to ask them if they want to be part of the surge in Iraq? That’s not the way our civilian-led military has ever worked in our entire history . . . I think in effect doing a referendum of the members of the Armed Forces on a policy matter is a very dangerous path.

Meanwhile, CNN and MSNBC are salivating over a photo-op visit to Afghanistan while Fox News just keeps spewing its usual twisting of myths and facts while babbling about ventriloquists.

Obama and Reid: Still Can’t Commit on DADT Repeal

While President Obama says that he supports repealing DADT, he will not tell the lame duck Congress to do it:

   OBAMA: “There’s going be a review that comes out at the beginning of the month that will have a surveyed attitudes and opinions within the armed forces. I will expect that Secretary of Defense Gates and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen, will have something to say about that review. I will look at it very carefully. But that will give us time to act in potentially during the lame duck session to change this policy. Keep in mind we got a bunch of court cases that are out there as well. And something that would be very disruptive to good order and good discipline and unit cohesion is, if we got this issue bouncing around on the courts as it already has over the last several weeks, where the Pentagon and the chain of command doesn’t know at any given time what rules they’re working under. We need to provide certainty and it’s time for us to move this policy forward, and this should not be a partisan issue.

This is why voters threw out the blue dogs. Keep missing the message, Mr. President.

h/t Wonk Room @ Think Progress

“The Third Time is Enemy Action”

CNN: White House deputy Valerie Jarrett dismisses scolding from DADT victim Lt. Dan Choi

From Rayne in Jane Hamsher’s Valerie Jarrett Responds to Dan Choi

Remember the James Bond movie, Goldfinger?

“Mr. Bond, we have a saying in Chicago. The first time is happenstance. The second time is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action.”

Is this the second time or the third time for Jarrett?

What Jane said:

Number one, when did Obama say that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is unconstitutional? I’m rather sure she’s putting words in his mouth, I’d be happy to be wrong about that.

Further, Judge Virginia Phillips has already ruled Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell unconstitutional.   If the President truly does believe Don’t Ask, Don’t tell is unconstitutional, he has all of the justification he needs to let Judge Phillips’ decision stand.

But there is an extremely serious problem with having Valerie Jarrett continue to be the White House spokesperson on this matter.  I defended Jarrett earlier this week over her use of the words “lifestyle choice” when addressing the issue of LGTB teen suicide.  I said it didn’t make her a bad person, but it did show she was out of touch with the discourse in the LGBT community.  And that meant she emphatically should not be in charge of LGBT issues at the White House.

The fact that Jarrett could use a term that is like fingernails on a chalkboard to LGBT people, and still be out there as White House spokesperson on the issue of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, is symptomatic of something deeply wrong.

DADT may well be unconstitutional in light of the 2003 Supreme Court ruling that struck down Texas sodomy laws

WASHINGTON – In an historic decision with wide-ranging implications, the U.S. Supreme Court today struck down a Texas law that makes some kinds of sexual intimacy a crime, but only for gay people. The decision overrules the court’s 1986 decision in Bowers v. Hardwick, which was widely condemned for treating gay people as second-class citizens.  It was hailed by the American Civil Liberties Union as a major milestone in the fight for constitutional rights.

“”This decision will affect virtually every important legal and social question involving lesbians and gay men,”” said James Esseks, Litigation Director of the ACLU’s Lesbian and Gay Rights Project.  “”For years, whenever we have sought equality, we’ve been answered both in courts of law and in the court of public opinion with the claim that we are not entitled to equality because our love makes us criminals.  That argument – which has been a serious block to progress — is now a dead letter.””  Esseks added, “”from now on, cases and political debates about employment, custody and the treatment of same-sex couples should be about merit, not about who you love.””  

In sweeping language, the Court said the Constitution protects the right of gay people to form intimate relationships and “”retain their dignity as free persons.””  Gay people, the Court said, have the same right to “”define one’s concept of existence, of meaning, or the universe, and of the mystery of human life,”” that heterosexuals do.  The Bowers decision, the Court said, “”demeans the lives of homosexual persons.””.

(emphasis mine)

Dan Choi Re-Enlisted in the Army

U.S. Military Moves to Accept Gay Recruits

The United States military, for the first time, is allowing its recruiters to accept openly gay and lesbian applicants.

The historic move follows a series of decisions by a federal judge in California, Virginia A. Phillips, who ruled last month that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law violates the equal protection and First Amendment rights of service members. On Oct. 12, she ordered the military to stop enforcing the law.

President Obama has said that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy “will end on my watch.” But the Department of Justice, following its tradition of defending laws passed by Congress, has fought efforts by the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay organization, to overturn the policy.

Judge Phillips on Tuesday denied requests by the government to maintain the status quo during the appeals process.

The Pentagon has stated its intent to file an appeal in case of such a ruling. But meanwhile, it has started complying with Judge Phillips’s instructions while the dispute over her orders plays out.

With this announcement, Lt. Dan Choi, the Iraq war veteran, Arab linguist, and West Point grad turned “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal activist, decided to take the opportunity to do what he has said he has always wanted to do, serve his country in the military. First, he tried to enlist in the Marine Corps but being 29 made him one year too old. So instead, Dan went to the Army recruiters and filled out the application to re-enlist. He will return at 10 AM to begin processing as an enlisted soldier, most likely a specialist since he is a college graduate.

Dan, you rock.

GLBT: What is the matter with the DNC?

Jon Aravosis @ AMERICAblog Gay points out that the DNC web site on its “Civil Rights” page,  no longer mentions the repeal of DOMA which was one of the top three promises made to the GLBT community by Candidate Obama.

#  Enacting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which includes measures prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity;

# Ensuring full civil unions and federal rights for LGBT couples;

# Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in a sensible way that strengthens our armed forces and our national security;

It the DNC now calls for “civil unions”. How about marriage guys?

And WTF does this mean?

Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in a sensible way that strengthens our armed forces and our national security

Meanwhile, Sen. Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have written Attorney General Eric Holder to not appeal Judge Virginia Phillips’ ruling that DADT violates the 1st Amendment.