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Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to DADT

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….

UPDATE: Chris Geidner has this to say at Law Dork 2.0:

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! :)

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

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11 Comments

  1. I left this comment on Law Dork 2.0:

    The real news about today’s SCOTUS rejection of the case isn’t really about the case or the Court — it is about the Obama administration’s defense of the law.

    According to the AP: The Obama administration issued a “request to maintain the Clinton-era “don’t ask, don’t tell” directive,” and said in court papers that “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.’”

    That doesn’t sound like an administration that claims it is working to repeal the ban.

    Comment by Matt Comer — June 8, 2009 @ 3:25 pm - June 8, 2009

  2. Unlike the stimulus, TARPs, bailouts and other spending, it would not cost the current administration anything to overturn don’t ask, don’t tell except political capital. There’s your change for you.

    Apparently the gang bangers and criminals that they now allow in the military foster discipline and cohesion, but gay men and women do not.

    Comment by Marc — June 8, 2009 @ 4:00 pm - June 8, 2009

  3. Sure. Right. Anything to defend Obama. He likes us. He really, really likes us. Perhaps the Gay Left needs to read He’s Just Not That Into You.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — June 8, 2009 @ 4:35 pm - June 8, 2009

  4. What does it matter if SCOTUS rejects a challenge to DADT. The reality is that DADT is probably constitutional. But just because it’s constitutional, does not mean it is good law/policy. Politicians, both now and before the election are missing a prime opportunity to strength our military, by allowing military personnel serve, no matter what their sexual orientation. Everyone of us should have the opportunity to risk our lives to defend our freedoms, no matter what we do in our private lives.
    What irks me is that just because a law is not wise does not make it unconstitutional. If we can all get to that point and govern ourselves that way, life would be so much easier.

    Comment by HCN — June 8, 2009 @ 6:46 pm - June 8, 2009

  5. “But just because it’s constitutional, does not mean it is good law/policy…What irks me is that just because a law is not wise does not make it unconstitutional.”

    Exactly. My guess is that DADT really is constitutional. The pathetic thing about modern political culture though is that if one opposes something, one tends to think the courts should rule that thing is unconstitutional.

    How many Democrats in Congress (and perhaps the President himself) will complain about the Supreme Court’s refusal to overturn DADT and yet won’t do a thing to change DADT themselves? After all, it’s not like the courts are forcing the President and the Democratic-controlled congress to keep DADT around.

    Comment by cme — June 8, 2009 @ 7:08 pm - June 8, 2009

  6. The move to overturn DADT really needs to come from the legislature along with a new law that ends discrimination against gays and lesbians in general.

    Comment by galefan2004 — June 8, 2009 @ 9:19 pm - June 8, 2009

  7. #4 – “The move to overturn DADT really needs to come from the legislature”

    OK, fine – name ONE Congressman/woman who has resolved to introduce legislation to overturn DADT. And what is the projected subcommittee vote on the matter?

    Go ahead – we’re waiting.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — June 8, 2009 @ 10:00 pm - June 8, 2009

  8. I’m watching former Speaker Newt Gingrich speak at the House Senate Republican dinner in DC. I’m reminded why I loved the guy in the early 90′s. He took on the Dems and won the House in 94 for the first time in 40 years. He is the most brilliant articulate hardball Republican in the forefront. If he wants to run for President, he will be a formidable candidate. He is years away from some of his personal bagage. And if a community organizer can win the office…..a former Congressman and Speaker can win it. Listen to his speech.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — June 8, 2009 @ 10:17 pm - June 8, 2009

  9. 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.”

    If I understand correctly, the Obama Administration filed papers supporting DADT. Is this the same Obama who on the campaign trail took a gay-friendly position and opposed DADT?
    Question to you lawyers . . . didn’t the Obama administration have the option in this case to not enter a brief?

    Comment by man — June 8, 2009 @ 10:38 pm - June 8, 2009

  10. We will hear all the bleeting from the Left, etc on this, but they seem to forget that with a stroke of a pen Obama can stop the discharge of gay soldiers under DADT, even while it is being reviewed.

    Latest polls show even conservatives are more than 50% with gays serving in the military. They recognize it is about national security and love of country that drives are wonderful young men and women to sign up regardless of sexual orientation.

    Comment by Libertygal — June 9, 2009 @ 9:43 am - June 9, 2009

  11. After all, it’s not like the courts are forcing the President and the Democratic-controlled congress to keep DADT around.

    That’s correct, cme. But apparently, Obama supports DADT.

    If I understand correctly, the Obama Administration filed papers supporting DADT. Is this the same Obama who on the campaign trail took a gay-friendly position and opposed DADT?

    Apparently, man.

    Question to you lawyers . . . didn’t the Obama administration have the option in this case to not enter a brief?

    I’m not a lawyer, but let’s assume the Obama Administration had to enter a brief. And suppose that Obama really supports repeal of DADT, but feels that the action shouldn’t happen in the courts. Then why submit a brief that rationalizes DADT?

    Two possible answers. Either Obama really supports DADT, or Obama supports its repeal but making a political maneuver to wait for its repeal and even using arguments they don’t believe in to keep it in place for now. Either way, it doesn’t look good.

    I didn’t think I could ever dislike a president as much as I disliked Bush, but Obama is doing wonders so far in that department.

    Comment by Pat — June 11, 2009 @ 7:29 am - June 11, 2009

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