Today, the Log Cabin Republicans’ case against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell continues with oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Though DADT will officially be repealed 19 days from now, the case is still important for determining the constitutionality of the law. Tom Carpenter at LGBTPOV explains:
Judge Phillip’s decision had two parts. The first awarded declaratory relief, ruling that DADT infringed on the fundamental rights of current and prospective service members and violated their Fifth Amendment due process rights and their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and petition.
The second part awarded injunctive relief, enjoining the government from enforcing or applying DADT and its implementing regulations, and ordering the government to suspend and discontinue investigations and discharge proceedings.
Lawyers for the Log Cabin Republicans will likely agree with the government that when repeal is finally in place, the second part of the decision will be moot, meaning “the issues presented are no longer ‘live’ or the parties lack a legally cognizable interest in the outcome.” However, the first part of the decision, finding the law unconstitutional, is not.
Given that several Republican presidential candidates — most recently Michele Bachmann — have called for the reinstatement of the discriminatory military policy, its constitutionality could have significance beyond its repeal Sept. 20. Metro Weekly has provided a FAQ on the case and the complicated course it has followed. Stay tuned for updates on today’s proceedings.