“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Ruled Unconstitutional in California’s 9th District
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Judge Virginia A. Philips of the United States District Court for the Central District of California issued a permanent injunction barring enforcement of the law behind the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on Thursday.  The law that forbids openly homosexual members from serving in the United States military was ruled unconstitutional due to its violation of the rights of lesbians and gays under the First and Fifth Amendment.

The ruling occurs two months after the United States government was brought to trial by the gay rights grassroots organization Log Cabin Republicans.  White & Case partner and lead attorney on the case Daniel J. Woods said in a statement, “This is a major victory in the fight for equality and means that military service will be available to all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation.”

However, United States government lawyers are questioning whether Judge Philips’s ruling will hold true for the rest of the nation.  The government now has the opportunity to nix the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy by repealing it before Congress, and constitutional law expert and dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law, Erwin Chemerinsky, says, “Given the position of the Obama administration, there’s a great likelihood he will not appeal the ruling.  If it isn’t appealed to the 9th Circuit, it has an excellent chance of standing.”



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