The Obama administration won a bid to delay enforcement of a federal judge’s order overturning the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco today said it temporarily postponed the ruling “to provide this court with an opportunity to consider fully the issues presented.”
The government asked the court to take action today to postpone the ruling after the lower-court judge who issued it last month refused the administration’s emergency request yesterday to delay enforcement.
U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips in Riverside, California, ruled Sept. 9 that the policy violates constitutionally protected due process and free speech rights.
President Barack Obama supports repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the government said in court filings. Still, terminating the rule should take place only after advance planning and training, the government said. The Defense Department’s findings on how the ban should be ended are scheduled to be completed Dec. 1.
Phillips’s order “risks causing significant immediate harm to the military and its efforts to be prepared to implement an orderly repeal of the statute,” the U.S. said in the filing with the appeals court.
Tracy Schmaler, a Justice Department spokeswoman, didn’t immediately return a voice-mail message after regular business hours.
The lower court case is Log Cabin Republicans v. U.S., 04-08425, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Riverside). The appellate case is Log Cabin Republicans v. United States, 10-56634, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (San Francisco).
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