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.