The Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) case is officially over.
Sure, you may have thought that the case ended when the Obama Administration certified the DADT repeal in September, (and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declared the issue moot), but the Log Cabin Republicans continued to litigate until this week.
On Wednesday, the Ninth Circuit issued an order denying en banc rehearing in the case. The Log Cabin Republicans have indicated that they will not file further appeals in the case.
Image via Wikipedia
In its September 29 opinion in the case, the Ninth Circuit vacated District Judge Virginia Phillips' decision that the DADT policy was unconstitutional, and barred future litigants from employing the decision in their arguments, writing, "Because Log Cabin has stated its intention to use the district court's judgment collaterally, we will be clear: It may not ... We vacate the district court's judgment, injunction, opinions, orders, and factual findings - indeed, all of its past rulings - to clear the path completely for any future litigation. Those now-void legal rulings and factual findings have no precedential, preclusive, or binding effect."
In their petition for appeal following the moot declaration, the Log Cabin Republicans argued that, despite the DADT repeal, the government's ability to discriminate against individuals in military service merely for exercising their constitutional right to engage in private, consensual intimate association remained unchecked.
That is still the case.
Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog noted that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rehearing denial has effectively erased the Don't Ask Don't Tell case that prompted the DADT repeal from jurisprudence.
The problem that lingers for the Log Cabin Republicans, and gay members of the military, is that the policy could be resurrected; Republican presidential candidates Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum have expressed support for reinstating the policy.
- DADT Repeal Effective September 20, DOMA Issues Linger (FindLaw's Ninth Circuit blog)
- Ninth Cir: Log Cabin Republicans Claim Moot After DADT Repeal (FindLaw's Ninth Circuit blog)
- Log Cabin Republicans v. USA Document Repository" href="http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/content/view.php?pk_id=0000000492">Log Cabin Republicans v. USA Document Repository (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)