Friday, September 10, 2010

Judge Declares 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Unconstitutional

U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips ( a Clinton appointee via Berkeley)has ruled that the government's "don't ask, don't tell" policy is a violation of both the First Amendment and due process rights.

This has undoubtedly been coming for a long time, since the Clinton era's DADT policy was obviously a lukewarm make-do that resolved nothing. I'm surprised it has lasted this long.

In an interesting sidebar, her decision also cited DADT as bad military policy.

Citing trial testimony, she wrote, "All of these examples demonstrate that the act's restrictions on speech not only are broader than reasonably necessary to protect the government's substantial interests, but also actually serve to impede military readiness and unit cohesion rather than further these goals."

Discussing legal precedents, courtroom procedure and First Amendment rights is one thing, but a Berkeley-educated judge with little or no knowledge of the military commenting on military policy per se is probably about as appropriate as an Army sergeant major presuming to advise the judge on how to run her courtroom.

Judge Phillips granted a request for a legal injunction to stop the military from discharging gay service members. It remains to be seen whether the Obama Administration's Justice Department will appeal the ruling.

I doubt they will,and since legislation to repeal DADT is stalled in the Senate, (yet another instance of Democrats betraying their gay constituency)this will probably remain in limbo for awhile as something nobody feels any particular desire to grab on to. And since the injunction will likely remain in force, what we're probably going to have is an uneasy mixture of DADT and a lot of looking the other way in the military...which is pretty much the status quo from what my sources tell me.

(via memeorandum)

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1 comment:

B.Poster said...

Rather than stumble around with this we ought to be focusing on how to make our military more combat worthy. I agree it is pretty laughable that a judge with no combat experience that never served in the military would be in a position to comment intellegently on military policy. This just highlights the arrogance of these people. The fact that they think they can comment knowledgeably on something they have no experience with.

With regards to military policy we should be asking ourselves how can we improve our combat capabilities. From my personal experience, I've observed that if one wants to be good at something they should study those who are already successful. For example, with regards to military preparedness and/or fighting capability study the best. This is the Russians and the Chinese. What are they doing? How do they handle something like don't ask/don't tell. This would probably give us a good idea of what we ought to do here. I'm not saying we necessarily should do what they do but it would give us a basis for making our decisions.

A bit off topic but one military avenue we have long neglected is in the area of space based weapons. The Russians and Chinese are pursuing this aggressively. Frankly, we aren't and those powers have taken the lead over us in this area. While we're wasting time and energy on this, the Russians and the Chinese are improving their military capabilities while we stand pat.

Right now, as much as I hate to say it, America is fundamentally not a serious country. Unless this changes we are going to have major problems in the coming months and years.