Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Appeal – 2

with 2 comments

My friend Steve Benen has a response to those (like me) who think the DADT appeal is misguided. I’m not at all convinced, but there’s clearly room for good-faith disagreement. If we’re still talking about this in 2012, we’ll know who was right…

UPDATE: It’s hard not to feel like the charges of hypocrisy are justified when this Department of Justice has chosen to let other cases stand without appeal—in just the last few weeks:

Less than a week before the Obama administration’s Department of Justice appealed a judge’s ruling that the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy is unconstitutional, it elected to let stand a court ruling allowing religious groups to proselytize in federal parks.

UPDATE 2: Does the Obama Administration have to appeal the DADT ruling? Absolutely not.

The DOJ has no legal obligation to do appeal the DADT ruling, and there’s ample precedent for allowing a ruling of unconstitutionality to stand. And the case for making an exception here couldn’t be more compelling: the law unjustly burdens minority rights and lacks both popular support and the support of legislative majorities. (This case, therefore, can be easily distinguished from refusing to defend the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act.) Whether or not one agrees with me on this, however, when the administration claims it doesn’t have discretion here they’re not telling the truth.

2 Responses

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  1. The DOJ has no legal obligation to do appeal the DADT ruling, and there’s ample precedent for allowing a ruling of unconstitutionality to stand. And the case for making an exception here couldn’t be more compelling: the law unjustly burdens minority rights and lacks both popular support and the support of legislative majorities. (This case, therefore, can be easily distinguished from refusing to defend the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act.) Whether or not one agrees with me on this, however, when the administration claims it doesn’t have discretion here they’re not telling the truth.

    gerrycanavan

    October 21, 2010 at 6:42 pm

  2. […] was very skeptical, but Obama got the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal done before the end of the session his […]


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