A federal judge in California yesterday said she was inclined to deny the government’s request to continue enforcing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell while it appeals her ruling that the policy is unconstitutional.
Judge Virginia Phillips, who last week ordered the military to stop enforcing the policy, issued a preliminary ruling against the government’s request to stay her injunction while the Justice Department appeals to the Ninth Circuit. Her final ruling is expected today.
During a brief hearing yesterday afternoon, Phillips said the government’s request was “untimely,” noting the DOJ should have filed its objections after her ruling Sept. 9 and before she issued the injunction. She called the government’s arguments in favor of the stay “vague.”
The government argued that ending the DADT policy abruptly could “irreparably harm” the military.
The DOJ also requested a five-day administrative stay while it asks the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay. The DOJ has already filed its appeal with the appeals court.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is the policy prohibiting gay men and women from openly serving in the military. The military has said it will abide by the injunction if it isn’t stayed, but has cautioned servicemembers not to change their behavior, in case Phillips’ ruling is overturned.