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Legal Analysis Of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Ruling

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Video published October 15, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: We'll discuss the meaning of the court ruling against Don't Ask, Don't Tell and hear reactions to the injunction by San Diegans with military ties.

We'll discuss the meaning of the court ruling against Don't Ask, Don't Tell and hear reactions to the injunction by San Diegans with military ties.

Guest

Legal Analyst Dan Eaton

Transcript

IT WAS A HUGE VICTORY THIS WEEK FOR OPPONENT OF DON'T ASK DON'T TELL THE 17- YEAR-OLD MILITARY BAN ON OPENLY GAY SERVICE MEMBERS. CALIFORNIA FEDERAL JUDGE PHILLIPS ISSUED A RULING STRIKING DOWN THE LAW THAT BAN GAY MEN AND WOMEN FROM SERVING IN THE MILITARY SHE SAID THAT IT VIOLATES DUE PROCESS AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH. THE RULING WILL BE APPEALED BY THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT. WE SPOKE TO SAN DIEGO RESIDENTS WITH MILITARY TIES ABOUT THEIR FEELING.

I HAVE A BROTHER WHO IS GAY, AND I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, THAT SHOULD NOT BAN YOU FROM SERVING IN THE MILITARY.

IF YOU WANT TO SERVE YOU SHOULD KEEP IT PRIVATE. SIMPLE AS THAT.

I WAS GAY IN THE MILITARY AND THEY MADE US FEEL SECOND CLASS, AND THE REASON THOSE IN POSITION OF AUTHORITY THINK THAT IT'S GOING TO BOOST MORALE OR WHATEVERRITY THAT THERE ARE REASONS THAT THEY CAN NOT SERVE HONOR ABLY THEY ARE WRONG.

JOINING ME NOW WITH THE DETAILS OF THE RULING AND THE EXPECTED APPEAL BY THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND THE REACTION OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IS LEGAL ANALYST DAN --

IT IS THE NATIONAL GAY ORGANIZATION. WHAT DID THE JUDGE SAY ABOUT THE GROUPS RIGHT TO BRING THE LAWSUIT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

THEY SAID LOG CABIN THIS ONE OR TWO MEMBERS THAT WERE IN THE MILITARY THAT WANTED TO SERVE OPENLY BUT WHO COULD NOT AND THAT WAS SUFFICIENT FOR THE JUDGE TO ENFORCE STANDING TO LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS TO BRING THE LAWSUIT. THAT WAS A HOTLY CONTESTED ISSUE, IF THEY HAD NOT GOTTEN PAST THAT THERE WOULD BE NO LAWSUIT.

HAS THE GOVERNMENT BROUGHT FORTH EVIDENCE TO DEFEND THE POLICY?

THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE, THE GOVERNMENT SAID LET'S LOOK AT THE LAW, THIS IS A CAL ON THE FACE OF THE LAW AND HE HAD THEY SAID LOOK, THIS IS BEEN CONSTITUTIONAL ANALYSIS EITHER IT SURVIVES OR IT DOESN'T. THERE WAS NO FACTS THAT WERE BROUGHT FORTH BUT THE LOG CABIN GROUP DID BRING FORTH EVIDENCE.

SO AT THIS POINT THERE'S BEEN A RULING BARRING THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FROM ENFORCING THE POLICY FOR ANYONE UNDER ITS COMMEND. WHAT EFFECT DOES THAT HAVE OR DOES IT HAVE NOW OR WILL IT HAVE?

IT DOES HAVE AN EFFECT RIGHT NOW BECAUSE WHAT THE JUDGE HAS SAID, IS THIS APPLIES WORLDWIDE, THEY HAVE TO STOP ALL DISCHARGES AND ALL INVESTIGATIONS. THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WILL WANT TO FILE FOR A STAY OF THAT ORDER. BUT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE IS UNDER OBLIGATION NOT TO GO FORWARD WITH ANY PENDING INVESTIGATIONS.

WHAT ABOUT ALL THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN DISCHARGED OR LEFT THE SERVICE, WILL THIS EFFECT THEM?

NO. IT SAYS DON'T DO IT GOING FORWARD. IF IT IS STRICKEN DOWN THEY COULD REAPPLY TO REENLIST. SO, ULTIMATELY THE ORDER COULD EFFECT THEM BUT AS FAR AS THE STAY, AND SO FORTH, IT HAS NO IMMEDIATE EFFECT ON THEM RIGHT NOW.

THE DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERT GATES BASICALLY SAID HEY, YOU KNOW, IT'S GOING THE TAKE AN AWFUL LOT TO PUT IT IN EFFECT AND STOP IT DOWN. IS THAT WHAT THE REQUEST IS ABOUT?

RIGHT. THAT'S WHAT THE STATE REQUEST IS FROM. GIBBS FILED A REPORT SAYING THERE'S A A LOT OF POLICIES AND PAPERWORK THAT WE MAY HAVE TO GO FORWARD ON AND WE MAY WIN ON APPEAL.

THAT IS THE PART I DON'T UNDERSTAND. THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION CAMPAIGNED AGAINST DON'T ASK DON'T TELL AND YET THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IS PLANNING TO APPEAL THE JUDGES RULING, HOW COULD OBAMA BE OPPOSED TO THE IDEA OF DON'T ASK DON'T TELL AND YET HIS JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TO APPEAL IT?

IT'S A MATTER OF PROCESS. HE SAID THAT HE IS IN FAVOR OF IT BUT THE PEOPLE IN CONGRESS, CONGRESS , THE PEOPLE THAT ENACTED THE LAW ARE THE PEOPLE THAT SHOULD REPEAL IT. FOR ONE THING IT COULD UNDER MINE ACCEPTANCE OF THE BROAD APPEAL.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

THEY WILL SEE IF THE APPEAL WILL BE SUCCESSFUL. MEANING FOR EXAMPLE, GAY SERVICE MEMBERS THAT ARE IN THE PROCESS OF BEING DISCHARGED OR WHETHER IN FACT A STAY OR NOT A STAY IS IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST. SHE WILL GO THROUGH THAT PROCESS AND ISSUE A RULING. EITHER WAY THERE WILL BE AN APPEAL.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU GLORIA.

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