U.S. Supreme Court Won’t Lift Stay on DADT Ruling
The U.S. Supreme Court has denied the Log Cabin Republican’s plea to block the military from enforcing the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.
Friday’s announcement means the ban will remain in effect until March while its constitutionality is reviewed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. That is unless Congress takes the issue up during the lame-duck session, which begins next week.
For Servicemembers United Director Alex Nicholson, the High Court’s decision wasn’t necessarily a surprise. But, he says it’s still a step backward for the LGBT community.
NICHOLSON: “It’s certainly not what we wanted–it’s not what we think the issue deserves. But, at the same time, it’s not going to distract us one minute from charging forward with our defense of the decision, and trying to fight the government’s appeal on the merits at the appellate court level.”
Justice Elena Kagan disqualified herself from taking part in the court’s decision. Should she decide to recuse herself from ruling on the issue if it reaches the Supreme Court, there is a possibility of a 4-4 split vote. If this happens, the result would simply affirm whatever the Ninth Circuit Court rules in the case.
Nicholson says it would be unfortunate if the “fair-minded justice” decided to recuse herself in the future, because he said ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ opponents would have a greater likelihood of prevailing if she’s on the bench.
Which is why Nicholson says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid needs to just bring up the issue of repeal during the first week of the lame-duck session. The veteran says he’ll definitely be keeping his fingers crossed.
NICHOLSON: “Yeah-my fingers, my arms, everything are crossed!”
Log Cabin Republicans issued a statement Friday saying they too were “disappointed” with the High Court’s decision to “maintain the status quo.” The group’s executive director R. Clarke Cooper says they are still “committed to pursuing every avenue in the fight against this failed and unconstitutional policy.”