The Justice Department asked a federal judge this week to suspend an appeal of the Log Cabin Republicans’ federal lawsuit against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which was recently repealed by Congress.
Justice Department attorneys argued that the court should “suspend the briefing schedule and hold the case in abeyance to allow that process to continue to completion.”
A federal judge had ruled in September that DADT was unconstitutional and issued an injunction banning enforcement of the law, a ruling DOJ appealed.
President Obama signed the repeal into law earlier this month, and has said he expects repeal to be implemented in a matter of months, not years.
Justice Department lawyers argued that “respect for determination by the political branches” was reason enough to suspend the appeal, which was filed by lawyer Anthony J. Steinmeyer.
Shortly after DADT was repealed legislatively, we asked the Log Cabin Republicans what they expected to happen to their case.
“The Log Cabin Republicans case only becomes unnecessary after the bill is fully enacted and the DOD 60 day review is complete,” Melissa Kennedy, press secretary for the Log Cabin Republicans, told TPM in an email. “Obviously, we are thrilled about today’s historic vote as our lawsuit was the impetus for Congress to act.”
Log Cabin Republicans executive director R. Clarke Cooper told the Advocate that the motion was a stall tactic to delay the government’s opening brief which was due Jan. 24.
“The DOJ can hardly argue now that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is constitutional,” Cooper said. “The government is trying to avoid an embarrassing situation, and it ignores the fact that the military remains free to discharge personnel.”