‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Suit Perseveres in 9th Circuit

     (CN) – The 9th Circuit declined to suspend an appeal over the government’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, even though Congress has already voted to repeal the controversial policy.




     In a brief one-page order on Friday, the San Francisco-based federal appeals panel laid out the briefing schedule for the government and Log Cabin Republicans, a gay and lesbian advocacy group that challenged the law in a California federal court.
     The government must submit its opening brief by Feb. 25, and the nonprofit has until March 28 to submit its answering brief.
     After the Log Cabin Republicans filed suit in 2004, a federal judge in Riverside, Calif., entered a permanent worldwide injunction against the law, which bans gays and lesbians from serving in the U.S. military.
     The 9th Circuit later ruled to stay the injunction pending the appeal, and the Supreme Court declined to overturn the decision.
     At each stage of the process, the government has lobbied to halt court proceedings, arguing that repeal of the law should occur in Congress.
     Both houses of Congress finally voted to repeal the law in December 2010, and President Barack Obama signed the new legislation on Dec. 22. The repeal act is conditioned on a certification process that ensures the new policy is consistent with military readiness and other factors.
     In the government’s Dec. 29 motion to stay the appeal, it said was willing to brief the court in 90 days as to the status of the certification process.

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