Dog Bites Man

My entry in the least-surprising-new-story-of-the-year contest is the report that the 9th Circuit has suspended the Federal District Court’s injunction against don’t ask don’t tell.

I don’t care that the 9th Circuit is easily the most liberal in the country. I would be shocked if the District Court ruling is upheld by the Supreme Court, which basically never takes on the military during a time of war. Inter arma silent leges might as well be tattooed on the ass of every Supreme Court justice when they take the oath of office.

OK, that’s a bit hyperbolic, not just because I’m talking about Supreme Court justices’ asses, but because they did actually strike down some Bush administration efforts to gut the Constitution. But they are traditionally very deferential to the military as a general rule, and particularly during wartime (one of the reasons why the concept of a permanent war on scare ought to scare the bejeebers out of you).

Knowing that the Supremes are very likely to overrule the District Court, the 9th Circuit would have been irresponsible to not suspend the injunction. The confusion that could result from an on-again, off-again policy on homosexuals serving openly could be harmful, both to the military’s interests, and certainly to the interests of any servicemember who comes out at an inopportune time.

My ideal outcome of this case ought to be obvious to anyone who’s read my past posts on gay rights. Nevertheless, the 9th Circuit’s action is precisely correct, no matter how the Supremes ultimately rule.


About J@m3z Aitch

J@m3z Aitch is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.
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One Response to Dog Bites Man

  1. Scott S. says:

    I disagree, Jim. Given that the military did not suffer terrible harm during the couple of days when DADT was suspended, and given that Gates and Mullen have both said DADT harms readiness, the military is probably now suffering irreparable harm. Therefore, the 9th should leave DADT disabled until the case is heard. Gay servicemembers have been duly warned of the potential risks of coming out before a final decision, both by the Pentagon and by Servicemembers United. If some of them choose to come out before the appeals are finished, to show how little that really hurts the military, it would add to the case against DADT.

    In fact, they still might: The current stay is temporary, waiting for plaintiff’s rebuttal to the DOJ motion for a permanent stay pending appeal. The 9th may still refuse that motion.

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