I’m not able to get much into this today as I’m getting ready for vacation (more on that later).
But I did want to get up a post so everyone can comment on today’s SCOTUS/DADT development.
Supreme Court Rejects DADT Challenge – Associated Press
The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a challenge to the Pentagon policy forbidding gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, granting a request by the Obama administration.The court said it will not hear an appeal from former Army Capt. James Pietrangelo II, who was dismissed under the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
The federal appeals court in Boston earlier threw out a lawsuit filed by Pietrangelo and 11 other veterans. He was the only member of that group who asked the high court to rule that the Clinton-era policy is unconstitutional.
In court papers, the administration said the appeals court ruled correctly in this case when it found that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is “rationally related to the government’s legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion.”
More to come….
So, today’s action was not a decision on the merits of the case; the Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
What’s more, the decision, particularly coming right now, likely tells us little about what the members of the Court actually think about the constitutionality of the policy. Why? Because a justice, say Justice Ginsburg, might believe the policy is unconstitutional but could vote against cert because she was uncertain of the Court’s other members’ views and did not want to risk losing the argument. Additionally, with the Court is in the midst of a personnel change, I’d think we’re unlikely to see many high-profile, likely 5-4 outcome case, cert grants before a new justice takes the bench.
In short, I don’t think that this is a case that anyone should want to be the Supreme Court challenge to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Chris also points out there was a weird legal path for this suit in its journey to SCOTUS. But you will have to read Law Dork 2.0 to catch up on that!