Moments ago, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily granted the government’s request to stay a federal district court’s injunction of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, potentially allowing the Pentagon to again ban gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces. From the court:
This court has received appellant’s emergency motion to stay the district court’s October 12, 2010 order pending appeal. The order is stayed temporarily in order to provide this court with an opportunity to consider fully the issues presented.
Appellee may file an opposition to the motion for a stay pending appeal by October 25, 2010. To expedite consideration of the motion, no reply shall be filed.
The ruling comes after the government announced on Tuesday that recruiters had to accept gay soldiers as it was still trying — and ultimately failed — to secure a stay from U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips. It filed this request for an emergency stay at approximately 11:30 this morning. The Pentagon will likely issue another guidance to bar gay recruits from enrolling. As Metro Weekly’s Chris Geidner explains:
This is not, however, a stay of the order that will last through the appeal. This is only a temporary stay granted through the time when the Ninth Circuit can decide — sometime after the Oct. 25 deadline given to the LCR attorneys to respond to the stay request — whether to issue a stay pending the outcome of the appeal.
If a stay is granted pending the appeal, though, DADT would likely go back into effect in the interim, as the appeal is not even scheduled to complete the briefing process until the second week of March 2011.
Attorneys for the Log Cabin Republicans, the plaintiffs in the case, had filed their opposition to the DOJ’s stay request, noting, “Each argument that the government asserts as a basis for a stay has already been raised to the district court, which rejected them all – not cursorily, or in passing at an oral argument, but in extensive reasoned opinions at multiple stages of the proceedings below.” (H/T: Chris Geidner)
“While we are obviously disappointed that the injunction was temporarily stayed, we hope that the Ninth Circuit will recognize the inherent contradiction in the government’s arguments for a longer stay in light of eight full days of non-enforcement with no ‘enormous consequences,'” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the sole named veteran plaintiff in the case along with the Log Cabin Republicans. “An objective look at the evidence before the court clearly indicates that ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ would not harm military readiness, but would rather enhance it.”
,Log Cabin Republicans:
“We view the decision as nothing more than a minor setback,” Dan Woods said. “We didn’t come this far to quit now, and we expect that once the Ninth Circuit has received and considered full briefing on the government’s application for a stay, it will deny that application.
,Human Rights Campaign:
“The revival of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law is a sad day for all Americans who want the best and brightest service members defending our country. Today’s decision only furthers our resolve to send this law to the dustbin of history and also draws a spotlight on the administration to make good on their pledge to end these discharges that damage our national security.”
,Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN):
“This interim temporary stay means that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is once again on the books, and is likely to be enforced by the Defense Department. Gay and lesbian service members deserve better treatment than they are getting with this ruling. We now must look to the Senate next month in the lame duck session to bring about the swift certainty needed here and to repeal this unjust law that serves no useful purpose.”