District Judge Rules DADT “Unconstitutional”, Enjoins Enforcement
US District Court Judge Virginia Phillips has ruled the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” violates the First and Fifth Amendments to the US Constitution and has issued an injunction prohibiting its enforcement. According to reports, Judge Phillips made the following military analyses:
Phillips [said] the policy doesn’t help military readiness and instead has a “direct and deleterious effect” on the armed services by hurting recruiting when the country is at war and requiring the discharge of service members with critical skills and training.
Phillips’ ruling referred to both the US law banning homosexuals from military service and the Defense Department policies implementing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” interpretation of that law.
Public reports leave open the possibility that the Justice Department will not appeal, which would allow the injunction to stand. DADT repeal has stalled in Congress, and, if appealed, there is speculation this ruling/injunction would not survive at the US Supreme Court — which has most often (though not always) deferred to military analyses of military issues, even when freedom and Constitutional rights were at issue.