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US District Court Upholds “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 10:08 pm - April 24, 2006.
Filed under: Gays In Military

Via Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts has granted the government’s motion to dismiss in Cook v. Rumsfeld, a constitutional challenge to the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual service members. The decision, from Judge George A. O’Toole Jr., was released on April 24.

Text of full decision can be found here.

Here’s more from the Associated Press:

U.S. District Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. on Monday dismissed the suit filed by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, based in Washington, D.C.

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” has been upheld by appeals courts in several other jurisdictions.

In his ruling, O’Toole cited the authority given to Congress in establishing the country’s military policies.

“Deference to Congressional judgment is of even greater importance in a case such as this one where the legislation challenged was enacted pursuant to Congress’ authority over the national military forces,” O’Toole wrote.

“In Congress, there were hearings by committees of both Houses at which the arguments for and against the policy were aired and debated. The resulting legislation was the end product of a focused process of debate and deliberation.”

One of the reasons the service members filed the lawsuit in Boston is because the appeals court here — the 1st Circuit — has never been asked to rule in a case involving the policy. Steven Ralls, a spokesman for the servicemembers network, said they would likely appeal the ruling, although a final decision has not yet been made.

“We’re obviously disappointed in the court’s decision,” said Ralls.

Obviously this is a significant setback to overturn this Clinton-era policy. There is legislation slowly gaining traction in Congress to overturn the ban. To pass, that would require Republican votes. To secure Republican votes, that would require a Republican gay organization that has some clout on Capitol Hill. It might also be nice to have traditionally Democrat gay organizations (HRC, NGLTF, Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund) actually put some skin in the game and (*gasp*) meet and donate to Republicans on this issue. But alas, the fight for gay marriage and the ignoring of political reality trumps all in our community.

But hey, at least the SLDN had actual names of plantiffs in their lawsuit, unlike the early public relations ejaculators over at Log Cabin.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

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86 Comments

  1. rightwingprof,

    President Clinton was unable to sign an executive order repealing the ban on gays in the military because before before President-elect Clinton had taken office a six-month moratorium on any changes in the military’s policy was enacted by Congress (the Family and Medical Leave Act). That is what prevented Clinton from signing an executive order to eliminate the ban, as promised during his campaign. And yes, a Democrat, Sam Nunn of Georgia, was to blame for that.

    Comment by Erik — April 26, 2006 @ 11:28 pm - April 26, 2006

  2. #39 — I hope rightwingprof doesn’t teach history since he has such a hard time telling the difference between reality and his far, far right view of the world.

    On second thought, I’d like to know where he teaches so I can make damn sure my children don’t enroll there.

    Comment by Trace Phelps — April 26, 2006 @ 11:34 pm - April 26, 2006

  3. North Dallas 30: got any sources? Putting things in italics doesn’t really help verify much of anything.

    Comment by John — April 27, 2006 @ 1:24 am - April 27, 2006

  4. Your accusations are baseless, underhanded, disgusting and hurtful.

    Actually, Gryph, you forgot something — “truthful”.

    I’m not naive enough to believe that you would believe my sources were I to air them in the first place; furthermore, I don’t particularly want them to lose their jobs. I’ll simply say that not everyone at SLDN is particularly wild about their organization’s tactics and who they are paying to do their dirty work.

    Not to me, but to the people and volunteers at SLDN who I know believe very much in what they are doing and work very, very, hard to do the best they can to help others injured by DADT.

    And you would be amazed at how much money and time they spend to try to deliberately injure others.

    I can understand their frustration and anger; after all, they listen to some very bad stories. But at the same time, that hardly excuses their actions.

    You might want to lose some of that innocence, Gryph; they’re definitely taking advantage of it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 27, 2006 @ 1:34 am - April 27, 2006

  5. It is quite simple Clinton capitulated; he could have signed an executive order, end of story. Had he been President in the early 60’s African-Americans would still be paying a poll tax. He probably did the math and the greatest numbr of people arguing to be open were not in the military and were not going to serve and those who wanted to serve would serve anyway. I could let the legislation go through Congress, keep my hands off the whole sordid mess. To those who say we did not go far enough, we can use the small steps arguments from the Civil Rights era. Come 1996, when people start riding my ass about it, I can say it was Congressional legislation.

    I suppose he figured that the middle of the road people were not ready for an executive order and would place in peril any re-election bid.

    Comment by ralph — April 27, 2006 @ 4:56 am - April 27, 2006

  6. Gramps writes “And unless you can prove your nasty filthy slander, then I demand you apologize!”

    LOL. Petulant isn’t compelling anymore than pedantic; adjust the volume Gramps.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — April 27, 2006 @ 9:07 am - April 27, 2006

  7. NDT says:

    I’m not naive enough to believe that you would believe my sources were I to air them in the first place; furthermore, I don’t particularly want them to lose their jobs. I’ll simply say that not everyone at SLDN is particularly wild about their organization’s tactics and who they are paying to do their dirty work….

    And you would be amazed at how much money and time they spend to try to deliberately injure others.

    Once again, simply prove your accusations. Why is that such a difficult thing to do? Did you mouth off in a fit of blind partisan rage and are to prideful to admit it? I’ve admitted in the past when I have made mistakes. You seem incapable doing so.

    You screwed up NDT. Your mouth got away from you and now you can’t back up your cheesy overblown rhetoric with any actual facts.

    I am not “innocent” I’m well aware that the majority of SLDN’s people are probably rather liberal in thinking and outcome. And I have seen criticisms from others about SLDN taking a too liberal stance on a particular issue. I have never however heard of anyone accusing or complaining about SLDN conducting an “outing campaign”, which is an entirely different scale of offense.

    Again, provide proof. Or admit you don’t really have any and made a more or less baseless allegation. Maybe you have talked to a disgruntled person about the group, but you don’t really know anything, do you? But for you to just shut up about the subject isn’t good enough, the accusation you have made is too serious.

    You are worse than those doing those outing campaigns NDT. You want everyone to tar and feather SLDN just on the basis of your personal prejudices and innuendo about the group being “liberal”, without backing it up with any facts.

    In other words, what you are trying to start is a “rumor campaign”. That should be a familiar phrase to you, and not for good reasons.

    Is this really the way you want to convince others that you are “right”?

    If you come forward with real and verifiable proof that SLDN conducts “outing” campaigns, I will admit I am wrong and I will cease giving any money to the group.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — April 27, 2006 @ 10:52 am - April 27, 2006

  8. Patrick, you might as well try and have a conversation with a pile of rocks.
    “Worse than senseless things.”

    Comment by hank — April 27, 2006 @ 11:43 am - April 27, 2006

  9. Once again, simply prove your accusations. Why is that such a difficult thing to do?

    (sigh) Gryph, I already TOLD you why:

    1) You obviously won’t believe them

    2) There is a strong risk that people would be fired and, to use your colorful prose, “tarred and feathered” for blowing the whistle on matters.

    What has happened is best described as “overzealousness”, as in SLDN decided to try applying “leverage” on certain individuals. Unfortunately, what they chose to do fell well into the range of “extortion” and “blackmail”. One of the planners must have seen too many spy movies, because part of it was creating staged photos with men in compromising sexual positions — just like the Soviets allegedly used to do with married men and women, under threat of “do as we say or we show this to your spouse”.

    In short, they tried a retaliatory campaign — investigate someone for being gay and we’ll give them what they need to finger YOU as gay and paint it as retaliation for spurning your advances.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 27, 2006 @ 12:13 pm - April 27, 2006

  10. a six-month moratorium on any changes in the military’s policy was enacted by Congress

    Irrelevant, or can’t you read the Constitution? The President is the Commander-in-Chief, and his authority supercedes Congress.

    On second thought, I’d like to know where he teaches so I can make damn sure my children don’t enroll there.

    You have children? God forbid. What kind of little pussified panty-waisted government dependents they will be.

    Clinton capitulated; he could have signed an executive order, end of story. Had he been President in the early 60’s African-Americans would still be paying a poll tax

    Yes, and he would have campainged on revoking the poll tax, then spent his time “feeling their pain” and other such sensitive, castrated crap, as he did for eight years.

    Comment by rightwingprof — April 27, 2006 @ 12:55 pm - April 27, 2006

  11. NDT:

    1) You obviously won’t believe them

    NDT, at this point it is your credibility that is in doubt, not those of your sources.

    Unless you provide more information, I have no way of knowing or verifying the accusations you have made and those who have made them. I have know way of knowing whether these things things occurred or are just employee griping. And if what you say is true, were the people responsible held to account? Were they disciplined or fired?

    Do your sources have any intentions of EVER coming forward? Even after they move to another job? This is the time of the Army of Davids after all. They could even just blog about it.

    You should know BTW, that I believe Steve Ralls sometimes does read this blog, so any “cover” may have already been blown. I’m also thinking of simply asking him, and the other members of the board, if this ever happened. He may not respond however, as even though I’m a member of their “Patriot Circle” tier of donors, I’m still very minor so I have no real leverage with them. He has written to me once before on another matter brought up here.

    2) There is a strong risk that people would be fired and, to use your colorful prose, “tarred and feathered” for blowing the whistle on matters.

    If you are truly so concerned with this NOW, then why did you publicly make the accusations in the first place?

    And at this point, your “evidence” is still only hearsay, so why did you make the accusations? Did it serve some other purpose? Such as blaming yet another calamity on Democrats and Liberals? Your favorite people to hate? Did this cloud your judgment? Answer.

    In short, they tried a retaliatory campaign — investigate someone for being gay and we’ll give them what they need to finger YOU as gay and paint it as retaliation for spurning your advances.

    In retaliation for what? Is someone besides the usual suspects attacking SLDN? Right now the only person I see attacking anything is yourself.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — April 27, 2006 @ 2:23 pm - April 27, 2006

  12. Gramps, thanks for taking the volume down a bit -you do sound less petulant. At least you didn’t use bold highlighting and capital letters this time. That’s progress.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — April 27, 2006 @ 2:45 pm - April 27, 2006

  13. Wow. NDT, you might as well have just attributed your information to space aliens, because what you’re saying is no less credible. How is anyone supposed to tell the difference between “somebody told me and I’m not telling you who” and “I’m just making it up?”

    Comment by John — April 27, 2006 @ 3:12 pm - April 27, 2006

  14. Do your sources have any intentions of EVER coming forward? Even after they move to another job? This is the time of the Army of Davids after all. They could even just blog about it.

    My sources have a genuine conundrum, Gryph.

    On the one hand, they believe wholeheartedly in SLDN’s mission and do not want to destroy the group. They genuinely like their jobs and, in repeated conversations with me, express that it gives them great satisfaction to follow through on that mission.

    On the other hand, they are disgusted by some of the tactics they are seeing and are questioning what the goals of the organization really are. Their impression is that several people are obsessed with revenge against politicians, active-duty officers, and other gay people and have reached the point of regularly rationalizing extremely unethical and dangerous behavior and activity as “helping the cause”. They are also frightened that this will only get worse with the rejection of the court case.

    Their hope is that, by airing this, the guilty parties will be encouraged to re-evaluate what they’re doing and that SLDN itself will reiterate, both externally and internally, that it does NOT support retaliatory outing, or indeed outing of any sort that isn’t voluntary.

    I promised them that I would keep their confidence and that I would make the charges known publicly.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 27, 2006 @ 3:41 pm - April 27, 2006

  15. #58 – Indeed he might, hank, for all the sense Gryph sometimes makes. Indeed he might.

    Or how about, say – you? hank, remember that time you made a big screaming denunciation of NDT as a “racist” (and other names I believe) and you could not back it up?

    So, hank, perhaps you like it when Gryph adopts your style or tactics, eh?

    Comment by Calarato — April 27, 2006 @ 4:02 pm - April 27, 2006

  16. #63 – John, that’s a fair question.

    NDT’s charges are new and alarming and, absent any evidence or specific examples, one should indeed take them with a large grain of salt. (no offense NDT).

    On the other hand – I can honestly say that in several months of examples where I’ve been watching, NDT has always been honest and reliable in his intellectual methods. This is the first time I’ve ever seen him fall back on a “they told me in confidence and I can’t tell you” type of claim.

    Also in several months here, I’ve personally seen several of NDT’s opponents (including both Gryph and hank, at times) be DIShonest in their intellectual or argumentative methods, on several occasions each.

    In one particular instance of Gryph’s that I remember, Gryph even mocked the very concept of apologizing (after Gryph was caught red-handed in being illegitimate or wrong on something). I haven’t ever seen NDT do that. I have seen NDT give apologies before, where they were due.

    And, although I believe in “innocent until proven guilty”, from a pure logical standpoint, Gryph’s claim (“lady X is virtuous; she never does anything behind closed doors where you and I won’t see”) is not inherently that much more plausible than NDT’s claim.

    If Gryph does believe in his own claim so strongly: then why would Gryph need to awkwardly or unskillfully bring in remarks about NDT’s ass, in #48? What does NDT’s ass have to do with any of this?

    So personally, I factor in all of the above. For now, I will simply file this one in the back of mind mind under the category of “open question”.

    Maybe NDT is right, and maybe he’s wrong. If he were right, and if SLDN were to keep it up or not change their ways, SLDN would probably get into some kind of trouble eventually. So perhaps we’ll see.

    Comment by Calarato — April 27, 2006 @ 4:26 pm - April 27, 2006

  17. I just don’t get it.

    When SLDN fails to achieve any meaningful progress on reforming or repealing DADTDH, their defenders say it’s everyone else’s fault… Congress, the WH, the Prez, the public, the Courts, the military leadership, Slick Willy, etc etc etc.

    If the majority of voters support a repeal of DADTDH –as SLDN supporters maintain– why is it so hard to get it repealed? For the majority public advocacy groups with a short-term issue, that’s called impotency.

    Why is it that a special interest group like SLDN on the Left, who hitched their wagon to the Democrats team, gets to keep its credibility while continuing to do business as usual? Failure after failure after failure; hell, they can’t even get military special investigation units to stop surveiling gay bars in DC and elsewhere.

    I’d think at some point, the GayLeft represented in the SLDN would demand demonstrable progress or success. Oh wait, before they can do that we need to get a more sympathetic leadership into the WH, Congress, etc etc etc. Ahh, the end game: destroy GOP majorities.

    I really think the SLDN is all about playing to the culture of victimhood >>and we all know that’s the psycho-defective element that holds the Democrats together. It’s a shame the SLDN’s Board doesn’t hold its staff accountable. Worse yet, the people who contribute to the group are enabling a continued impotency and misdirection on the issue; we need to support Congressional candidates who will repeal the act… forget the enviro-ACLU-abortion strategies of using the Courts to achieve results not accessible in the political arena.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — April 27, 2006 @ 4:43 pm - April 27, 2006

  18. #66 – Not at all, hank.

    Here (and downwards, of course) is where you fling ‘racist’ at NDT and then, for “evidence”, can produce only certain comments of NDT’s where he argued AGAINST racism.

    After we caught you on that, I believe you further called NDT an “asshole” (I haven’t re-read the thread). Rather than apologize. Indeed, your tactics remind me of ones I’ve seen Gryph use before.

    It took me a couple minutes in the search facility – but worth it, given that you are challenging my word now. Consider yourself exposed, hank.

    Comment by Calarato — April 27, 2006 @ 4:55 pm - April 27, 2006

  19. #69 – P.S. And for the record – just to be absolutely, 100% technically correct on these things – hank, perhaps you did only say NDT produces “racist ravings”, rather than he “is a racist”. I admit it. Big whoop.

    My point was and is: you gave NDT a further direct name, where your apology should have been. So don’t try to tell me you’re not like Gryph or that #65 is a crock. And that’s enough time on this. Bye now.

    Comment by Calarato — April 27, 2006 @ 5:08 pm - April 27, 2006

  20. Caralato:

    If Gryph does believe in his own claim so strongly: then why would Gryph need to awkwardly or unskillfully bring in remarks about NDT’s ass, in #48? What does NDT’s ass have to do with any of this?

    Bruce says:

    I’m just trying to be provocative and have y’all think outside the MSM box.

    “Mission Accomplished”.- Gryph
    —-
    Besides which, I’m not the one posting semi-nude pictures of himself accompynied by political commentary. Granted its a novel approach journalism, but NDT has to expect that I’m going to rib him about it until the end of time. Thats what bitchy queens do.

    I will take back the part about the “widening” ass however. His is rather cute for being a right-wing nut case.

    ____________________

    NDT, iaccompaniedf you have any further details on this issue you are more comfortable providing to me by e-mail, please do so.

    Although SLDN does not have branch offices as such, it does have groups in major cities. Can I assume however that you are talking about the National HQ as far as this issue is concerned? Or is this problem in a local group?

    I’m surprised you have not done a full blog post on this. Are you planning one? I will want to post about this on my blog, but I will hold off until you post first if you wish, since this is your “story”.

    I will think about and decide whats next over the weekend. It is a conundrum.

    But a few immediate thoughts: The “cat” is now out of the bag, so further silence on the part of your sources may now be irrelevant. SLDN is not a vast organization, so I would suspect that someone is going you guess your sources identifies eventually. So they may want to come forward openly now. Whether SLDN survives this is out of their hands now.

    NDT, is it possible that your sources are using you in some way to further an in-house office fight? How much do you know them and how much do you trust them and their motivations?

    For now, I will say that I may be wrong about SLDN and that NDT may be right. I will also suspend for now my monthly donation to them. (which isn’t a lot). There’s more to be revealed I guess.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — April 27, 2006 @ 5:15 pm - April 27, 2006

  21. #71 – Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt! Copout.

    Or does the MSM feature pictures of NDT’s ass? Checking my Newsweek and NYT. Nope, didn’t think so.

    Gryph, I am going to call you names now. Over time, here and on many occasions, you have been a coward and a hypocrite.

    And, as I explain in #39 and #67, that would be why you have lost so much credibility in this place. I would find your attacks on NDT more persuasive if your places were reversed – i.e., if, over time, he had built up something of a track record of being a coward and hypocrite, while you had not.

    Comment by Calarato — April 27, 2006 @ 5:41 pm - April 27, 2006

  22. Sorry, meant to say #49 and #67.

    Comment by Calarato — April 27, 2006 @ 5:41 pm - April 27, 2006

  23. “For now, I will say that I may be wrong about SLDN and that NDT may be right. I will also suspend for now my monthly donation to them. (which isn’t a lot).”

    OK, maybe I should have waited to the end of your post. I will have to admit, that is getting a little bit better.

    Comment by Calarato — April 27, 2006 @ 5:48 pm - April 27, 2006

  24. P.P.S. But by all means – DON’T suspend your monthly donation. If you believe in them: you believe in them.

    It will be interesting to see if NDT will give us something more / better on this – and of course, he hasn’t thus far (which is why we’re here).

    Comment by Calarato — April 27, 2006 @ 5:53 pm - April 27, 2006

  25. Calarato. I have no need to speak to you ever again. I don’t want to go back and look yup all the VILE things you’ve said about me and/or other people here. You’re a waste of time.

    Comment by hank — April 27, 2006 @ 6:43 pm - April 27, 2006

  26. If Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is so bad, why doesn’t your man Bush see to it that it’s repealed? Better yet, he could just use an executive order to abolish discrimination against gays in the military? Why don’t y’all ask him to do that? Or is it that you really don’t want gays in the military?

    Comment by Nolajeff — April 27, 2006 @ 6:53 pm - April 27, 2006

  27. And, as I explain in #39 and #67, that would be why you have lost so much credibility in this place. I would find your attacks on NDT more persuasive if your places were reversed – i.e., if, over time, he had built up something of a track record of being a coward and hypocrite, while you had not.

    The truth is Caralato is that I simply get tired of you after awhile. Thats all there is to it.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — April 27, 2006 @ 7:32 pm - April 27, 2006

  28. Believe me – I know the feeling, and then some!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Calarato — April 27, 2006 @ 8:00 pm - April 27, 2006

  29. So, where we’re leaving it, then (or at least where I’m leaving it):

    (1) You’re willing to concede that NDT COULD know something you don’t and to wait for more.

    (2) You have no real excuse for your ridiculous demands and insults on NDT in #48 – though you have half-apologized for one of them, at least this time.

    Comment by Calarato — April 27, 2006 @ 8:10 pm - April 27, 2006

  30. Caralato:

    (2) You have no real excuse for your ridiculous demands and insults on NDT in #48 – though you have half-apologized for one of them, at least this time.

    I’m just trying to be provocative and have y’all think outside the MSM box.

    -Bruce

    What part of “provocative” don’t you understand? If Bruce can go around insulting everything and everyone around him to purposely stir up a fuss, I don’t see why I can’t.

    If you have a problem with that C, you need to take it up with Bruce, not me.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — April 28, 2006 @ 12:35 pm - April 28, 2006

  31. Wow, Gryph, is your thinking slow today.

    First of all – This is Bruce’s house, not yours. You can say anything you want, in your house.

    Second, and more important to me personally:

    Bruce doesn’t rely on the cheapest, most pathetic foul language and lame (2nd-grader) efforts to hurt others’ body image to provoke them into thinking. You do. (See #48.) And then, “thinking” isn’t what you provoke.

    Gryph, as a blogger, you don’t hold a candle to Bruce. I know that rankles for you. Kindly take it up with yourself. Longtime observers here know that’s what you need to do. Make peace with that guy in the mirror first, Gryph. The mirror.

    #79 was a lame half-indication that I’ve spent enough time on you here and won’t be back – Let me state it clearly and officially in this comment – bye now.

    Comment by Calarato — April 28, 2006 @ 1:26 pm - April 28, 2006

  32. OK, in order, after a night which I will say was at the least interesting:

    Can I assume however that you are talking about the National HQ as far as this issue is concerned? Or is this problem in a local group?

    It is a combination. Apparently it’s a collaboration between some people at National and a few of the local groups; the national folks have been the ones getting a few unsavory elements involved.

    I’m surprised you have not done a full blog post on this. Are you planning one? I will want to post about this on my blog, but I will hold off until you post first if you wish, since this is your “story”.

    I don’t like putting up blog posts where I can’t definitely reveal information. The skepticism you have (healthily) provided is warranted just by the nature of the story, so I’ve been taking a very slow approach to this.

    But a few immediate thoughts: The “cat” is now out of the bag, so further silence on the part of your sources may now be irrelevant. SLDN is not a vast organization, so I would suspect that someone is going you guess your sources identifies eventually. So they may want to come forward openly now. Whether SLDN survives this is out of their hands now.

    Actually, this is information to which, according to my sources, most people at SLDN would have access if they were looking and paying attention. Furthermore, as I mentioned, they strongly believe that the mere fact that this is known or talked about publicly will put an immediate stop to it.

    NDT, is it possible that your sources are using you in some way to further an in-house office fight? How much do you know them and how much do you trust them and their motivations?

    That could be a possibility. However, remember, I do HR for a living, and I usually can recognize someone trying to use third parties to facilitate a fight. This doesn’t look like that.

    And honestly, what I’ve gotten has been very conflicted. One of my sources was horrified that you were stopping your donations — indeed, emphatically said there was nothing funny going on in the California local groups and that they could seriously use the money. I don’t think that sounds like people trying to favor internecine warfare; it’s more like people wanting to expose what they know is wrong, but without starting a civil war.

    Anyway, I told my sources what I had done and where to look; we’ve decided that it’s probably best to sit back a few weeks and wait to see what happens.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 28, 2006 @ 1:40 pm - April 28, 2006

  33. #50 by Erik. Kudos, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Comment by ndtovent — April 28, 2006 @ 4:54 pm - April 28, 2006

  34. defend Bush for breaking the law today on torture, rendition and many other issues.

    Bush has broken no laws, other than in your sick and twisted imagination.

    Comment by rightwingprof — April 29, 2006 @ 9:19 am - April 29, 2006

  35. #50: How hilarious.

    Clinton’s campaign promise was that he would completely eliminate the ban on gays in the military and that he would not sign, and indeed would veto, any antigay legislation.

    There are no “shades of gray” or “nuance” in that statement.

    The promise was black and white, and Clinton broke it out of sheer greed and homophobia.

    You are trying to make “shades of gray” because doing so rationalizes a Democrat’s spitting in the face of the gay community and laughing at them.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 29, 2006 @ 7:08 pm - April 29, 2006

  36. #60 rightwingprof — April 27, 2006 @ 12:55 pm – April 27, 2006

    >>>a six-month moratorium on any changes in the military’s policy was enacted by Congress

    Irrelevant, or can’t you read the Constitution? The President is the Commander-in-Chief, and his authority supercedes Congress.

    I’ve read the Constitution. I’ve also read the Federalist Papers (FPs), which purported to explain the Constitution and the Founders intentions.

    What you seem to ignore is that Article II of the Constitution also requires that the President “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” Those laws are, of course, the laws that were passed by congress and signed into law, or if vetoed, be passed by congress over the veto. So, if, as Erik indicated, a law had been enacted that placed a 6-month moratorium on any changes in the military’s policy (which may have been enacted before Clinton took office), that provision of the Constitution would apparently have required that Clinton conform to that law if he were to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

    I will acknowledge that there may be a tension between that and the provision of the Constitution that the president be the CinC of the Army and Navy, but that provision is explained in the first paragraph of FP74:

    THE President of the United States is to be “commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several States WHEN CALLED INTO THE ACTUAL SERVICE of the United States.” The propriety of this provision is so evident in itself, and it is, at the same time, so consonant to the precedents of the State constitutions in general, that little need be said to explain or enforce it. Even those of them which have, in other respects, coupled the chief magistrate with a council, have for the most part concentrated the military authority in him alone. Of all the cares or concerns of government, the direction of war most peculiarly demands those qualities which distinguish the exercise of power by a single hand. The direction of war implies the direction of the common strength; and the power of directing and employing the common strength, forms a usual and essential part in the definition of the executive authority.

    http://www.foundingfathers.info/federalistpapers/fedindex.htm

    What appears from this paragraph is that the CinC provision was primarily intended to concentrate the power to command the army and navy in a single person during time of war. That would not necessarily have meant that that person had the authority to circumvent the requirements of laws enacted by congress.

    I suppose that Clinton could have attempted to circumvent the law cited by Erik if he had wanted to, and had the issue tested in court. Of course, he wouldn’t have wanted to.

    Comment by raj — April 30, 2006 @ 11:53 am - April 30, 2006

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