Appeal the DADT injunction?!?!?!?! WTF?!

By Duganz

Tuesday October 12, 2010 should have been one of the single greatest days in the history of American Civil Rights: The end of Clinton’s idiotic “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” and the freedom of brave soldiers to be able to serve openly as gay and lesbian.

But, the Democrats are in power, so we get this:

The Pentagon said Wednesday it had not issued written guidance on a judge’s order throwing out the ban, and commanders in the field said they did not know how to proceed on sensitive questions like pursuing existing investigations against gay service members.

You don’t know how to proceed with an order to stop? You stop. You just stop. You stop when ordered to stop. It’s easy. Think, Was I ordered to stop throwing people out of the Armed Forces due to their sexual preference? If the answer is yes you stop throwing people out of the Armed Services due to their sexual preference.

But maybe there’s a reason behind the confusion…

The Justice Department worked into the night Wednesday on its response to the judge’s ruling but gave no indication when there would be an announcement. Its first move may be to seek a stay, or temporary freeze, of the order. If that request is rejected, the department probably would turn to the federal appeals court in California.

Obama’s Justice Department is going to appeal a court case that called a dumb law unconstitutional, because… why? The Obama administration consistently says it is against DADT. Before the Federal Government got around to giving all people rights, the federal courts did. Even the most ignorant of people (I’m looking at you “Creation Scientists”) have heard of Brown v. Board of Education. Brown ended segregation in schools. After that decision in 1954 private groups, civil groups, and the government were able to erode the damages done by moronic Southern Racists.

So why not instead of fighting the courts, embracing that other branch given power under our Republic’s Constitution, and then point at Republicans and say, “Make your move, oh Great Defenders of our Constitution.” The paradox would make Christine O’Donnell’s head explode.

Alas, because of the weak-to-non-existent spine of the Democrats we get this in a statement from anti-DADT group Servicemembers Legal Defense Network:

The law still has a chance of being repealed in the lame duck session of Congress. Service members must proceed safely and should not come out at this time.

Lack of leadership from the Democrats has put fear into the hearts of those fighting for freedom. And, ironically, the reason that Democrats aren’t leading on this issue is fear––fear of not getting re-elected.

But here’s the skinny: there is right, and there is wrong. It is RIGHT to stand up for gay Americans and their rights. It is WRONG to think of one’s own self-interest as far as getting more power. It is WRONG to allow 13,000 servicemembers to be discharged because of your lack of guts. (It is also wrong, just saying, to ignore an order from a judge Mr. President.) Even though most Senate Democrats (Not the ones from Arkansas) voted to repeal DADT, few are talking about it in their re-election campaigns.

So now we’re stuck with a President who despite being against a law, wants to appeal a Federal Court’s decision, and a Congress–House and Senate–that can’t get its act together enough to pass the smallest of Civil Rights legislation.

And again, as I’ve said here before, it is within President Obama’s power to end DADT on his own… Just like the judicial branch has the power to end DADT… and the Legislative has the power to end DADT (but doesn’t cause they are myopic wastebags)…

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  1. First and foremost, I am *NOT* defending the White House position to appeal Judge Phillips’ decision. It would be wise and rational to accept and understand that the DOJ have a very good reason for them to file that appeal. If the circumstances weren’t as emotional as they are, very many people would see this as a fairly clear case of judicial over-reach, and calls into question the authority of the President as the Executive CiC. Judge Phillips can declare that DADT is unconstitutional but cannot order the military to cease and desist by fiat.

    Having every district court judge in the country with that kind of injunctive authority over military function is likely unacceptable to any administration, and will be for the Obama Administration. It has only grown to this absurd point through the fantastical overreaching of the LCRs and, now, Judge Phillips. They have gone a bridge too far.

    The good news is that the un-Constitutional nature of DADT has been established, which the DOJ helped to argue *for*. The bad news is that to overturn Phillips’ injunction will likely mean overturning the whole ruling.

  2. Her ruling of the DADT as unconstitutional had the de facto effect of making it null, and therefore illegal for the military to continue enforcement of it. With or without the White House issuing an order.

    But you’re right that the WH will argue this as judicial over reach. It’s just that they’re wrong to do so because that will keep a law they claim to dislike, yet aren’t willing to truly fight against. And they’re wrong about her reaching too far, but that’s a different debate and on this thread I’m focusing on the failures of this President, and Congress to establish freedom for all, on their insistence on continuing a climate of fear for soldiers.

    • Her ruling of the DADT as unconstitutional had the de facto effect of making it null, and therefore illegal for the military to continue enforcement of it.

      It would be nice if that were the answer, but it’s actually the very problem. Phillips is a district court judge, which means she can make a ruling binding on the case as presented by the plaintiffs. That ruling, if standing, is precedence within her district. The overreach was the injunction which is a direct (probably un-Constitutional) challenge to the executive authority of the President. That took chutzpa, no doubts, but it gift wrapped a reason for appeal such that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals won’t have to rule on the Constitutionality of DADT to overturn her ruling and send the case back to California. She also basically dared the DOJ to appeal, and I don’t see how they can’t, given that direct slap to Presidential authority. The only ruling that would have such broad purview over all litigants would have to come from the SCOTUS, and Phillips effectively derailed that train.

      Anyway, I’m not a lawyer. But jonathangelling is. So I’ll let him explain it, as he did in a comment to the the link I posted above:

      … note Roe v. Wade, e.g. “Jane Roe” was an anonymous Texas woman who sued Henry Wade, who was I believe the D.A. down in Dallas, in the U.S. District Court in Texas, challenging a Texas state law.

      The district judge in Texas could hear that case. A district judge in California could NOT. The district judge couldn’t issue an injunction affecting the United States as a whole. If such an injunction were violated, the judge wouldn’t be able to bring in officials outside of Texas, or hear complaints from residents of states outside of Texas.

      Judges do not sit as arbiters of public policy in the abstract, is what I meant to say. They’re forced to wait on specific cases, involving specific parties, and their decisions in the final analysis only apply to those individuals. They’re enforceable only when similarly situated individuals walk into their court and say, “I want the same rights you gave Jane Roe in that other case.”

      Since a district court judge in the central district of California can’t hear a complaint from a New York soldier discharged under DADT, e.g. (or a soldier from anywhere OTHER than the central district of California), she’s powerless to issue an injunction like this. Sure, they have significant “public policy effect”, but they decide cases. They don’t issue blanket statements on public policy outside the scope of specific parties and litigants.

      A worldwide injunction is unnecessary to deciding the specific case before her: a California soldier discharged under DADT. She could have issued an injunction affecting only that soldier, while overturning DADT on the merits, and been well within her authority. An injunction affecting the entire Central District of California would be much more questionable, but possible. A worldwide injunction, especially against the U.S. military, is a major overreach for a federal district court judge.

      And it would be a good idea to read bmaz’s comment right below that one. (For the record, bmaz is also a lawyer.)

      • She set a precedent Wulfgar, and that changes the ball game for other cases. While I agree that her position goes far, it is not so far that it demands to be completely overturned. But I too am no attorney.

        I just think it was the right thing to do.

        • Again, Duganz, she didn’t set a precedent if it gets overturned. And over the course of the afternoon, I’m certain it will. Kindly smack me upside the head if it doesn’t. As bamz argued, she may have done more harm to the goal than good.

          Getting rid of DADT is the right thing to do. That’s the goal.

          • Not to cut in on both of you, but multi courts have ruled in favor of equality at multiple levels. There’s been precedent set in all kinds of places on this issue.

            I kinda think that what the Obama administration wants to do is to work this issue to the Supreme Court – oh boy, here comes Tokarski – and have so many higher Appeals rulings that the court’ll have little choice but to take it.

            I’m cautious. I want to see if that’s the strategy. If it isn’t, then I am going to be pissed.

            • i hope that is the case also. although i don’t see what is gained by that.what if you do the right thing first and then let the opposing side take it to the supreme court and make the right wing look like jerks? wouldn’t that be better? but i’m just a bear and lawyer things make my head hurt.

              if had better not be another gesture to appease a right wing who will only put shit in a bag and light it on fire and throw it on the white house porch anyway, knowing full well that obama’s knaves cannot resist the urge to fall for the same tricks time and time again.

              it’s getting downright embarrassing to watch how the right wing nutjobs run these naive bunch of flunkies around like hayseeds at a medicine show while real people who hoped for change continue to suffer.

              • the obvious result of a Supreme Court decision is that the UCMJ will have to be changed to allow gay servicemen. I am all for a Supreme Court decision of that nature.

                I just put up a post about this on Road Less Traveled including my experience in the military.

              • Depends on which case on the matter of equality actually gets to the courts…and which one the SCOTUS decides to hear. The goal, I would think, would be to get the case that would have the broadest effect.

                But continuing to have good precedent ruled upon isn’t a bad thing – and again – that’s because of a myriad of other rulings in both state and federal that have sided with equality.

                The SCOTUS has a job to do – and they know it. Or they will when they get enough cases for their consideration. They won’t be able to avoid the decision.

                They know can’t allow a myriad of jurisdictions – state in some, federal in others – be operating under a different bunch of rulings. It’s not what judges do. Eventually they’ll have to decide.

              • Go read what Moorcat did in the military. His action, described in that blog post, shows more guts, and character than most of the leaders we’re stuck with.

                Moorcat: You have my respect.

    • It’s just that they’re wrong to do so because that will keep a law they claim to dislike, yet aren’t willing to truly fight against.

      I forgot, I was going to deal with that too. On this point, I will defend the White House appeal, vociferously if I need to. So I guess I’m reneging on my first statement in my first comment. I guess what I should have said is that I’m not defending the White House appealing the constitutionality of DADT.

      The ruling by Phillips as regards DADT could be favored or not by Obama, and it wouldn’t make difference-one to whether the administration should appeal. It’s all too easy to boil this down to politicians and broken promises, yada yada. In truth, that’s almost de rigueur for the cynical citizen any more. But the White House should care about the injunction, and challenge it because it is a direct affront to the Constitutionality of the President as a citizen being Commander in Chief. It, by default, makes circuit court judges Commanders in Chief.

      Let’s say that that a group of soldiers from Alabama have no problem killing 6 days a week, but want Sundays released from active duty. So, they serve a lawsuit to the federal district court. The judge rules for them based on Constitutional freedom of religion, and then, by fiat, orders that all Christians in the military be given Sundays off. Another District judge orders that all Jewish soldiers be given Saturdays off. Another orders that all Muslims be allowed relief from any duty during proscribed prayer times. These rulings are challenged to the SCOTUS, and the SCOTUS overturns them all, harshly, handing total power over military action back to the Executive. By default, that would hold that Constitutional protections don’t apply in the military. So, Bristol Palin, 50th President of the US, declares Fuzzy Bunny Thursdays, where all military personnel will wear pink bunny suits.

      Admittedly, I put the slippery slope in the most extreme terms possible (but it’s kinda funny if you picture it.) In truth, I don’t see how Obama could pass on challenging such a threat to Executive power. It doesn’t matter whether he agrees with DADT or not. This challenge to CiC authority can’t and shouldn’t stand. The President didn’t push this into a political extreme; the Log Cabin Republicans and Judge Phillips did.

      The LCRs I understand. Anything that makes the Kenyon President look like he doesn’t care for gays is a plus to them. The self-hatred is evident. But Phillips? She fell for it, hook, line and sinker. That’s not to mention her 15 minutes as ‘the judge who ran the military’. It’s a bit bizarre how many progressives are falling for it too. This appeal, so loathsome as it is, isn’t about our President’s hatred of civil rights. It’s about who controls the military as defined by the Constitution. Uhh, that would be the President.

    • I would stop you at the “therefore”. The repeal of DADT – even if it was done in a higher court, does not necessarily mean that gays are not to be procecuted in the military. Until there is some congressional buyoff, it could just as easily mean a return to enforcing the hard line of the UCMJ.

  3. CFS

    Because… Like in so many oth things, Obama has said one thing and then proceeds to do another.

  4. A couple of things here to consider as well…

    Under the UCMJ, Homosexuality is a punishable offense. Clinton’s DADT mandate prevented officers in the Military from procecuting and kicking out solders that were gay but hid it. It did not make being gay acceptable in the service.

    While I agree that DADT should be repealed and the Military mandate against Homosexuality be removed, that would take a two step process – 1) Either the President or a Federal Appeals/Supreme Court has to remove DADT, AND a policy (probably would take enactment by the Presidennt) of tolerance be enacted. Until the UCMJ is changed to allow for open practice of homosexuality, there will continue to be fallout for those in the service who are gay.

  5. ladybug

    Yet another body blow to active supporters who helped fund the last campaign and voted in huge numbers. It’s a pattern of behavior that will not go unrewarded in November, 2010, and 2012. Could it be terminal?

    • Ohh, wherest be mine fainting couch! These dastardly do-wrongs aren’t doing my bidding, yet again … (Say that to yourself accentuating every consonant. And don’t forget to throw the back of your hand to your forehead.)

      Bug, how ’bout you join us all back in reality for a moment, and actually read what’s already been commented. These are very hard and real issues, legal, political and Constitutional. They go well beyond your oh so delicate fee fees. You may be correct that the ignorant will boil it all down to “what have you done for my feel goods lately”, a group you apparently reside in. I’m certain that your smug reward for not getting what you want yet will be duly noted, by no one save yourself.

      Consequence. That’s what it’s all about. (Either that or the Hokey Pokey.) Do you want to blame the President for defending Constitutional principle? Or do you want to remove the Prtesident because he didn’t challenge judicial over-reach? Or do you even understand what the hell is going on here?

      Do you care to actually comment about the topic? I would welcome it, really! Or are you going to remain the ethereal fairy of doom, pronouncing the death of hope for no reason other than it makes you feel superior? Inquiring minds wanna know …

      • lizard19

        i think ladybug makes a fair point and doesn’t warrant this kind of response.

        • Lizard, I ask in all honesty, other than pointing out the obvious, what point did she have? Who is the ‘they’ that delivered the body blow, here?

          This suit was brought and litigated by the Log Cabin Republicans. I have this niggling suspicion that their agenda was more than equal rights for all. The world wide injunction was exactly what they argued for. I seriously doubt that the lawyers who represent the LCR are idiots, and they had to know that the Administration would be forced to appeal the injunction.

          So, DADT dies and everybody feels good, until there is yet another betrayal from Obama. Democrats are feckless, they are going to lose, yada yada. So, I ask again, who delivered the body punch, and to whom?

          For the record, that’s what Rove called rat-fucking, and in this case it worked like a charm.

          • lizard19

            the reason i think it’s a valid point is because most folks don’t get into the nuances of policy–they will see another campaign promise floundering, and the administration actively fighting an injunction in court. arguing judicial overreach won’t track with folks that are tired of two years of disappointment.

            now, kindly answer the question i asked last night. what does this mean:

            DO WHAT MY IGNERT SELF WANTS!

            is this referring to me? my inquiring mind would like to know.

          • Lizard, it’s very easy for people to know what they want. It’s not always easy to know how to get it. And it’s frustrating in the extreme to watch people shoot themselves in the foot while trying to get what they want because of ignorance. This is just such a circumstance as that. You actually describe that phenomenon very well, in your response here.

            I guess the “pattern of behavior” (Ladybug’s phrase) that will get rewarded so well is voter ignorance. And yeah, that might be terminal.

            • lizard19

              so are you calling me ignorant or what? answer the damn question woof.

              • If you don’t understand that the White House has to appeal this ruling, then yeah, you are ignorant. So you tell me. Are you ignorant?

  6. lizard19

    we wouldn’t be having this conversation if obama exhibited the near extinct character trait in American politics known as “leadership”.

    is it fear of not getting reelected that makes Obama so damn tepid when it comes to things like closing the torture shop at gitmo and issuing an executive order to stop persecuting gay servicemen/woman? does he not see the vacuum he creates by being gutless on this issue is being filled with hate and venom?

    terrible, atrocious, lethal acts are being perpetrated on people because they were born with sexual wiring that social dinosaurs, bigots, and bible thumpers are incompatible with.

    Obama could show a little leadership here because, as Duganz said, it would be the right thing to do.

    but he doesn’t. why?

    • The Progressive mantra:

      Do what I want that will and can get you fired, or we will do all we can to get you fired.

      Just asking, Lizard, what morally righteous thing did you do today that will get you fired? Nothing? Hardly a surprise.

      ~sigh~

      Obama tried to close Gitmo, and he was inundated with NIMBYism. DADT is not persecution. As Moorcat pointed out, it’s military law. Changing that is not so simple, except to those who refuse to think.

      terrible, atrocious, lethal acts are being perpetrated on people because they were born with sexual wiring that social dinosaurs, bigots, and bible thumpers are incompatible with

      That’s not the military. Kindly stay on point.

      Never mind. The point is this, clearly written:

      DO WHAT MY IGNERT SELF WANTS!

      • lizard19

        kindly stay on point? why don’t you kindly cool the condescending tone.

        woofie, i was commenting on leadership, which i think is pertinent to this thread, or more accurately the lack of leadership, and pointing out that were Obama to try it, he could make a moral argument about equality using this issue as a springboard, and by linking DADT to the terrible things happening right now in our communities against the LGBT community, he could invigorate the larger civil rights movement.

        now, what the hell is your last line suppose to mean? it must be important, considering the CAPITAL LETTERS and your signature !. please clarify, because it sounds like you’re calling me ignorant. i hope i’m wrong.

      • CFS

        Wulfgar, please correct me if I am wrong here, but Trueman desegregated the military with an executive order in 1948. Simple and straightforward and no need for congress or the courts to act.

        http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/desegregation/large/index.php?action=chronology

        • You are correct but the world has changed a great deal since that was done and the military stigma against gays if far more pernatious and established than it ever was against blacks. Further, Truman had the backing of the Constitution and the Public on desegrating the Military – and it still took years to actually accomplish. Even when I joined in the 70’s, you could catch a taste of the military to make things a little harder on people of different skin colors – not just blacks. It is my understanding now that there are no issues, but that was not the case when I was in.

          For Gays it will be so much harder. There are no constitutional laws or findings to back up their “rights” to equality like there were for non-whites and, quite frankly, there is still a large component of the public that are still either on the fence (or over it) when it comes to gay people and “the gay agenda”. Eric comes to mind. Just for a datum point, there is a nasty letter to the editor in the Dillon Tribune this week about gays in the military.

          It is this lack of Constitutional or Federal recognition that will make this issue so hard. Truman had help that Obama simply doesn’t have with this issue.

  7. While I can understand that people are upset at Obama (this is one issue he CAN address outside of Congress), it is just not that simple. The stigma about homosexuals in the Military has been around for centuries and it will take a great deal of effort and work to overcome it. As I and Wulfgar have already pointed out, this is going to take a fundamental change to Military Law. It isn’t going to happen overnight. Worse, the real wingnuts are coming out of the woodwork over this issue. There are already letters to the editor being sent to papers all over the nation and many that should know better are jumping on the bandwagon to muddy the waters.

    The bottom line – Wulfgar is correct, the judge oversteppede his authority and Obama HAS to act if he wishes to maintain his authority as CIC and Chief Executive. While he has the authority to address Clinton’s executive order, he does not have the ability or the clout to force the Military to completely rethink thier legal rules without buyin from Congress or the Federal Supreme Court.

    • lizard19

      if the law changes will bad things happen among our troops? probably, but for anyone paying attention, bad things are already going on. there are plenty accounts of women soldiers getting raped, hazing, and religious intimidation. that’s not a reason to continue singling out “the gays” from serving their country.

      it’s becoming more obvious that kicking out competent soldiers in an already stretched-to-the-breaking-point armed forces is just stupid.

    • lizard19

      by the way, great post moorcat.

    • CFS

      Could you explain how the stigma against gays in the military is any different from the stigma that once existed against blacks in the military.

      • i just did in my responce to your Truman post. To hit the highlights –

        A) The stigma against gays has been around a lot longer than blacks and is harder to put your finger on (how do you tell if someone is gay by looking at them?).

        B) Racial Equality is something that has been addressed at the Supreme Court level and in the Constitution. Sexual Orientation has NOT been addressed the same way and any order from Obama has no backing at the Federal level.

        C) Even if a mandate were issued (not something I see happening without some kind of backing from Congress or the Courts), it will take Decades to implement – basically, the “old guard” will have to retire – before there is any true equality.

  8. It could be that the judge overreached on this decision. It could be that this is why the White House is wanting to appeal it.

    But that does not justify the absence of leadership on this issue. Obama has had it in his power for two years to get this ball rolling, and has done nothing. Guess he’s been too busy closing Guantanamo.

  9. It really boils down to the illusion that voting changes policies in government. There’s been nothing of significance that has changed, and this particular policy is most demonstrative of this feature of American politics. Obama hit hard on this issue in 2008, to the point where one might even think that he believed his own words, yet when push comes to shove, he can’t/won’t do anything.

    Changing the military culture can be done, and is not as hard as some make out – the creeps merely fade to the margins, as they did during the Dr. Strangelove days. They are always there, but leadership and force of will makes them keep to themselves.

    Make all the excuses that you want for the Democrats, but people who don’t fight for you are not worth your vote. Period.

    • Mark,

      I realise I rarely ask this question, but in this case, it is germane to the discussion… Have you ever served in the Military? Have you ever been in a position to change something in the Military?

      For me, the answer to both questions is “Yes”, and it is every bit as hard as people make it out to be. It has taken more than 35 years to integrate women into Naval Combat vessels and the project is still ongoing. I was around in the service when they first proposed this for Nuclear Vessels and it is just STARTING to happen now. The hoops that had to be jumped through to accomplish this were enormous because of the established military mentality that women should be nurses, yeomen and admin people, not have REAL jobs in the Navy.

      The idea of integrating gay men and women into the Military if a far more encompassing goal (given the much strong bias against it) and I really don’t expect anything to get accomplished any time soon. Sadly, many of the gays in the service already are well respected, well accomplished and perform thier duties well – all while fearing exposure, harassment and discharge. My hat’s off to them. Who you sleep with has nothing to do with how well you accomplish your task.. it is time for the Military (and the Country) to figure that out.

      • JC

        “The idea of integrating gay men and women into the Military is a far more encompassing goal ”

        Well, gay men and women are already integrated into the military–they are already there. Unlike your analogy with women, who weren’t there, and had to actually be “integrated”.

        The integrating that needs to be done is in the heads of our political “leaders.”

        • There is a VAST difference between true integration and the fact that there are many gay men and women currently serving “in hiding”. True integration means the harassment stops, and equality is established for gay service persons. That is a long way away even if DADT is magically transformed to open service for gays. The stigma is too well ingrained in the military leadership.

          • JC

            Then you are arguing for a generational shift in leadership before DADT can go, because, well “stigma is too well ingrained in the military leadership.”

            If “true integration” requires that military leadership changes the way they think, then you have just outlined the major problem with our modern military. The chain of command is broken.

            The President, the Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen, Secretary Gates, and many other top leaders have all supported repealing DADT. if they can’t pass the word down the chain that their officers suspend their “stigma” and do what’s right for the military and the country, then what good is the current chain when it comes to doing things like unravelling Bush’s policies on the two wars we are fighting?

            The acknowledgement that our military is chock full of leadership that is homophobic and bigoted does not paint a pretty picture. And lends one to question the military’s overall effectiveness and readiness to do the bidding of the CiC.

            Obama’s perceived weakness on DADT not only affects the public’s perception of him, it also affects the military’s perception of his leadership ability. And that is a horrible thing. ANd it undermines global perceptions of Obama as to his being a weak leader and poor CiC that is neither in control of his own party in Congress, or of military leadership.

          • CFS

            I understand your point of view Moorcat and it’s a very valid one. The fact that integration of blacks and women into the military took decades and in some cases continues today just makes the case stronger for Obama to show more leadership on this issue, IMHO.

            Im not arguing against you and Wulfgar’s point that the court decision overstepped jurisdiction, but if Obama hadn’t have punted this to Congress this court case wouldn’t be an issue. Trueman was tired of Congressional dithering and decided to act as the Commander in Chief. That didn’t resolve things immediately, it took years of commissions, study, and ironing out the implementation process. But if Trueman hadnt of acted how many more decades would it have taken for blacks to be integrated and how would that have set back the rest of the civil rigts movement?

            If the push to end DADT dies in the courts or in the halls of Congress, it will be a long time before another President takes up this issue.

            • You have missed the point that I have been trying to make for quite a while now.

              Obama didn’t “punt” this issue to Congress, that denotes he had some other choice. He didn’t. This issue HAS to be addressed by Congress (OR NOT AT ALL). It is that simple. To be honest, I didn’t understand that either when I first started reading about this issue. I assumed (and we all know what that means) that since DADT was enacted by Executive Order, Obama could use Executive Order to remove it. I was WRONG in my assumption because I was unaware that, after Clinton enacted DADT by Executive Order, Congress LEGISLATED it into law. Once that was done, ONLY Congress can repeal it.

              Again, Truman’s executive order was a bold step, but the difference was that equality for blacks was a Federally Mandated edict already. Hell, we passed a constitutional amendment to address black equality. There is NO existing Federal Mandate to ensure equality based on Sexual Orientation. Further, Obama doesn’t have the ability to enact an executive order on this issue until the LAW of DADT is either repealed by Congress or declared unconstitutional by SCOTUS.

      • No never – I did have to go through the physical. But I don’t often pay much attention to soldiers’ opinions about things, and I go back to the days when boot capt was officially called “indoctrination.” Between that and compartmentalization, I don’t think soldiers know much more than the camaraderie issues.

        But I chuckled a little bit when you talked about how long it is going to take to integrate gays into the military. They’re here, they’re queer! You’ve been showering with them for decades, apparently not knowing so.

  10. ladybug

    Wuf!

    Clinton’s policy, Bush’s policy, and now Obama’s. For many hope was lost at Clinton. For those still hoping, it’s been going on long enough. Sure, the judge could have continued to kick the can down the road, but didn’t. The 9th Circuit will have a shot, and maybe the SCOTUS. Nothing new here. Blame the district court judge if you want, or me, or whomever. At least we finally will get a decision, which is more than the chicken-shit White House can muster.

    • I would remind you that a little research will show that the “chickenshit White House” already pushed this issue to Congress and while the House of Representatives acted to end it, the Senate nixed the whole thing. Had the Senate followed suit with the House of Representatives, this district court case would have been unnecessary (other than the inevitable civil cases over back pay). The fault is not Obama’s this time and that is clear to anyone that actually researches the timeline on this issue.

      Almost every legal authority, from district attorneys to a former Solicitor General of the United States has agreed that any lasting change to DADT (and the overall stance of how the Military deals with gay service people) MUST come from Congress. Even if the Supreme Court ends up ruling on this issue, how to impliment the change will still have to be dictated by Congress.

      I have plenty of things to fault Obama for, but this issue isn’t one of them.

    • Ladybug, that’s the very point. This ruling won’t stand, and actually will hinder getting a decision. The 9th won’t have to take a shot at DADT, because the appeal won’t have anything to do with the Constitutionality of that, but rather whether a Federal District Judge can issue world wide edicts for the US military.

      Last year, some crazy dentist lawyer lady found herself a sucker who refused to deploy to Afghanistan because that would following an illegal order from the African usurper. So she attempted to get the case heard in Federal District court, demanding a federal injunction against all deployments until the unqualified President was removed from office. Crazy, right? How we all laughed and laughed.
      The judges who’ve had the task of dismissing these suits from Orly haven’t been laughing because the suits all request judicial overreach. So unamused have they been, that Taitz is now blocked from bringing any more such legal action.

      But let’s say, for the sake of discussion, that Orly had found a sympathetic judge who ruled that the question of authority was a valid one, and set an injunction against deployments, or Executive command, pending appeal. Obviously, the Administration would ignore the injunction and appeal immediately. I’m curious how progressives would respond to that appeal. On the one hand, the injunction would have effectively ended the Administration’s warmongering in Afghanistan, right? On the other, it would have caused a Constitutional crisis. The situation here is hardly different. A Federal District Court judge cannot be allowed to usurp Executive authority. This appeal is defend Constitutional principle.

      But progressive reaction is almost universally negative towards the White House for doing what they have to do, because progressives want DADT to be ended, even if it takes unconstitutional action to do so. The ends justify the means, and damn the consequences.

      I’ve spent nearly a decade of my life arguing against that viewpoint coming from Republicants. So yes, I tend to react pretty negatively when it comes from ‘progressives’. The one placing blame is you, not me. I just see pretty clearly that you’re placing it in the wrong place.

  11. ladybug

    Wuf!
    I see it differently. The court case simply forced his hand, and/or Congress’s. Obama prefers to ask Congress one more time to free his hands so he can reverse the policy. He chose not to sign an executive order, which would allow the next president the same option. He’s such a Senator. So, will Congress, in the lame-duck session, attach the repeal to the defense appropriations bill? If not, he may have to issue an executive order. If he does nothing, all bets are off. I hear Goldman Sachs is hiring.

    • First, the decision by the District court did force Obama’s hand but not in the way you think. Because the court overstepped it’s bounds (and it did – of that there is no question what so ever), Obama is forced into the roll of having to appeal the decision, on the grounds that the court does not have the authority to dictate globally to the military. The point that Wulfgar is trying so hard to make, is that by forcing Obama to appeal the decision makes him LOOK like he is against repealing DADT, when in reality, Obama has worked very hard at reversing that failed policy and putting a permanent fix in place. In short, it was counter productive for the court to put Obama in that position. I am sorry that this is so hard to wrap your mind around, but Wulfgar is simply explaining the facts as they exist.

      Further, an executive order is not sufficient to overturn DADT. It was my understanding that DADT was enacted with an Executive Order (and it was) but what I was unaware of is that DADT was later enacted into law by Congress. Because of that, Obama does not have the option of changing Clinton’s Executive Order anymore. It MUST be addressed by Congress. Even if the Supreme Court rules DADT as being unconstitutional, Congress will still have to determine how the Military responds to gays serving in the Military.

      Congress had the oppurtunity to put this issue to bed earlier but they failed to do so. The obvious rancor you have for your perception that Obama failed to act is far more accurately directed at the Senate. It is your own lack of understanding of the situation that Wulfgar and I are responding to, not any attempt by either of us to say that DADT shouldn’t be repealed.

      What makes this situation even more complicated is that Obama has been working hard at finding a solution with the Military establishment’s buyin. By forcing a confrontation, and make no mistake, this has already had that effect, the Military Leaders are backed into a corner. This is not condusive to a smooth change and take it from a former Military member, when the Military leadership is forced to do something they don’t want to do without their buyin, things can get VERY interesting.

      The Military’s study on gays in uniform is scheduled to be completed in December of this year. With luck and a little smoothing of feathers, it is quite likely that a smooth transition can be negotiated for the end of DADT – assuming that we can push our Congress Critters to get off their lazy, self serving asses and actually work for us for a change. This would bring about the desired result without a protracted legal battle and the issue will be settled once and for all.

  12. JC

    So, everybody is following Obama’s lead, and punting this issue to the Senate.

    What I want to know is what will happen when the Senate is unwilling to pass the repeal? Political reality is that the senate is going to shift further right, and that they won’t be able to pass the repeal.

    Then what? I

    ‘ve just heard all the arguments for why Obama can’t do this by executive fiat. And if the Justice department appeal makes it to the Supreme Court and then wins, then DADT becomes set in stone, and gay rights will have been set back decades.

    • JC,

      You are making the same mistake many others in this discussion are making. You need to stop and actually think about what is going on.

      The Justice Department appeal has NOTHING to do with DADT. It has to do with the District Court’s ability to overwrite globally. It simply doesn’t have that authority. If the Justice Department appeal stipulates that they agree that DADT is unconstitutional (and by every indication available, that is exactly what they are doing), then the ONLY issue at hand is whether the district court has the authority to rule globally (which it doesn’t). The Constitutionality of DADT is not under question by either Obama or the Justice Department.

      All that said, anything going before the Supreme Court (or any court for that matter) is a crap shoot. Conventional wisdom would indicate that DADT is unconstitutional and there is plenty of precident to back that up. It will also help that the Justice Department’s appeal will stipulate their belief that DADT is unconstitutional – but again, there is no way to absolutely predict what SCOTUS will rule. Even the former Solicitor General of the United State, when interviewed by MSNBC said clearly that it would be much better if Congress simply addressed the issue.

      Even if SCOTUS issued a ruling that DADT was unconstitutional, the issue would not be resolved. If DADT is declared unconstitutional, it simply leaves the issue in a vaccum. Since the UCMJ (that troublesome document that no one is talking about at this point) still dictates that gay acts are punishable, the default position is to return to life BEFORE DADT. Take my word for it, that would be bad. Congress would still have to step in and ensure that the Military changed it’s entire policy on gays in the Service. The upside of a Supreme Court decision against DADT is that – then and ONLY then – could President Obama enact a temporary fix by Executive Order (like Clinton did).

      Focusing your ire and criticism on Obama is easy, but it is misplaced. The people we should be reviling with every breath we take is those idiots in the US Senate. That is where our letters, calls and blog posts should be aimed at and we should make it abundantly clear to those good for nothing money sinks that it is about time they earn their inflated salary.

      • JC

        No, I’m not making the same mistake you think others are making. And I’m not focusing my ire on Obama.

        The focus of my ire is directly with the Senate, which has refused to enact the repeal, and which most likely will continue to not repeal DADT.

        And my question still stands. What are people going to do when the Senate refuses to repeal DADT?

        That’s the meat of this whole issue. I’m not going to engage in a bunch of overthinking the legal ramifications, or Obama’s strategy/tactics, or pentagon process. There’s a whole lot of insider debate going on (as evidenced by this blog post and hundreds others like it across the country) that does little to address the general public perception of the issue and of Obama.

        What comes out in the general public’s perception is a disconnect between Obama’s words “I will end this policy this year” (which yesterday I heard modified to “I will end this policy on my watch” and the failure of DADT to go away–one way or the other,

        The longer DADT remains, the more it will adversely impact Obama’s presidency, if only because he has mouthed his intentions to end it, and end it by the end of this year. So the Senate’s failure to do so then becomes his failure. The Pentagon’s failure to end the policy in a timely fashion becomes his failure.

        Obama has set himself up so that it is politically advantageous of the party of No to not pass a DADT repeal in the Senate. And as long as it is politically advantageous of them to not do so, it will not happen. Or to put it another way, John McCain has a huge grudge axe to grind, and he has his stone (DADT) with which to do so.

        • The base question you are asking is a slightly less complicated one than what I perceived you were asking before.

          What is going to happen if the Senate fails to act?

          The answer will depend on what happens in other arenas. The bottom line is that Obama can’t act as long as DADT is viable legislation. He can’t “retroactively” veto legislation enacted under another president. It simply doesn’t work that way.

          If SCOTUS acts to declare DADT unconstitutional, Obama can theoretically step in by Executive Order and enact a new policy. If SCOTUS fails to declare DADT unconstitutional, we are stuck with DADT until Congress does act. At this point, the Military can’t even volutarily move away from DADT because it is Federal Legislation. No amount of wishing is going to make the District Court’s global ruling binding. It simply can’t or you might as well throw out the Constitution of the United States and start over.

          Your statements that Obama has shot himself in the foot if Congress fails to act is pretty accurate though, but I honestly think that even without his statements about a victory “on his watch”, the public’s perseption of this issue will still be critical of Obama. Hell, much of that perception has been seen in this thread.

          • JC

            Not “if.” I do not believe the Senate will repeal DADT, for the reasons I’ve stated elsewhere.

            • I am not as convinced as you are but you make a good point that there is little political downside to the Republicans trying to block a repeal of DADT. They can simply ride the (misdirected) wave of discontent with Obama’s perceived failure to get the job done. It could backfire badly though, because even amongst Conservatives in the US, there has been a slow but stead shift for equality based on sexual orientation (or more accurately, a move away from sexual orientation issues entirely).

              The one saving grace to this whole mess lies in the Supreme Court. If they do rule DADT unconstitutional (and they rule that gays should have the same oppurtunities in the Military that non-gays have), Congress can either move forward with the issue or be cut out of the issue by the President.

              • JC

                The problem with the SCOTUS ruling on this case is a matter of timeline. And given that this is a Roberts court, I’m sure that if the case ends up there, the timing will be manipulated so as to maximize its political cost to Obama.

                It sets up a perfect wedge issue for the 2012 campaign between a homophobic, bigoted GOP candidate, and a bumbling Obama who made the mistake of hitching his horse to a falling star (the Senate).

  13. Ingemar Johansson

    What I find most amusing about this rift is the fact that last year there was less than 450 kicked out of the military with DADT in force.

    450 divided by 2.6M=.00017. Subtract the intentional gayness used to bail and I’m sure that percentage falls further.

    Hardly a witch hunt wouldn’t you admit?

    • I don’t know where you are getting your facts but according to the Department of Defense, over 14,000 service members have been discharged for being gay under DADT. I have no idea if you are correct about the number discharged last year, but there is NO dispute about the figures given under oath by the DOD when this issue was argued in District Court.

      • JC

        You always have to suspect IngyJO’s numbers and facts. He pulls this stuff out his ass of the right wing crazy internet circle jerk disinformation ring.

        • Ingemar Johansson

          Here’s the quote and the link I used.

          From a Servicemembers United press release:

          “As expected, this record low in total annual ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ discharge numbers reflects a continuing downward trend, as military commanders continue to ignore this law that is clearly outdated and which impairs their unit readiness,” said Alexander Nicholson, a former U.S. Army interrogator who was discharged under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and the current Executive Director of Servicemembers United. “But this new number still means that 443 lives were unnecessarily turned upside down in 2009, 443 careers were unfairly terminated, and military units unexpectedly lost a valuable asset 443 times last year as two wars raged.

          http://iowaindependent.com/32715/number-of-gays-fired-by-military-in-2009-dips-to-record-low

          Right wing source? You decide. I’d like to see the 14k link tho.

          • Thanks for providing the source for your number and I will try to reciprocate (It won’t be all that hard given the number of newstories on the District Court decision). I took the number from the video assessment given by the former Solicitor General of the US on MSNBC. I am actually a little too tired to go looking now as I have been up pretty much all night working on a related project on my own blog. Finding the Solicitor General’s statements shouldn’t be hard though, the link is on MSNBC’s main page.

        • Ingemar Johansson

          Oh and JC, loved the “pull this stuff out his ass” comment/insult in a DADT post.

          • JC

            You’re welcome.

  14. Look, the bottom line is this: Obama could please everyone here. It is within his power.

    Step one: Executive Order repealing the enforcement of DADT. He also challenges Congress to step up and do the right thing.
    Step two: Appeal the District Court ruling, citing judicial overreach.

    It’s that easy. He gives progressives a reason to celebrate as we see our President make a bold and daring move to support the civil rights fight of this generation. At the same time he appeases civil libertarians by keeping the judicial in balance and check.

    Moorcat is right that things will take time. We all know that. Change doesn’t happen overnight unless we’re talking about socks. But there is a deeper issue here: political cowardice.

    As the election nears, and it becomes clear that the political climate may, if anything, be worse for President Obama, leadership is needed. And a pinch of chutzpah never hurt anyone. And in a country where 11 men in Brooklyn are capable of kidnapping and raping three men for being gay; where a New York gubernatorial candidate can call gay man disgusting; where bullying a child to suicide is not deemed a crime; we need someone to step up and say an end is near.

    And that man needs to be President Obama. If it isn’t, we’re on a road to nowhere.

    • Let me see if I can make this as clear as possible. DADT is NO LONGER AN EXECUTIVE ORDER – IT IS A LAW PASSED BY CONGRESS IN 1993 following Clinton’s Executive Order. Had Congress not passed it into law, you would be correct, Obama could step up and remove it. That is not the situation now. I was under the exact same impression at the beginning of this discussion but after following the links in the original post, following the links provided in the Comments, preparing the four posts I did last night on my own blog and doing some basic research on my own, I found that my original impression was completely incorrect.

      In short, what you are proposing is that Obama “veto” a law passed into legislation under President Clinton. It simply can’t happen.

    • Obama could please everyone here. It is within his power.

      That’s kind of what’s been pointed out with many words, Duganz. No, it really isn’t.

    • JC

      I don’t think that the DADT legislation would vacate the Executive Order Clinton signed.

      As a goodwill gesture–and as a bone tossed to his base–Obama could rescind the Executive Order. It would have no practical effect, and would be purely symbolic. But it would send a message. WHich is that if/when the DADT is repealed, or declared unconstitutional by SCOTUS, that there would no longer be an EO on the books that would still carry on.

      And I don’t believe that even an act of congress, or a SCOTUS ruling can invalidate an executive order.

      So Obama should make hay out of rescinding it.

      There has been much said about an EO to rescind implementation of DADT by the Pentagon. A Palm Center study had this to say:

      “The President of the United States has authority under the laws of the United States and the Constitution to suspend all investigations, separation proceedings, or other personnel actions conducted under the authority of 10 U.S.C. § 654 or its implementing regulations. Below we explain the basis of such authority.

      I. The Laws of the United States.

      Federal law recognizes that the President and Congress share authority to govern the military. In fact, by law currently in effect, Congress has already granted the President authority with respect to military promotions, retirements, and separations in a time of national emergency. This authority includes the power to suspend laws such as 10 U.S.C. § 654 [DADT]. Under 10 U.S.C. § 12305 (“Authority of the President to Suspend Certain Laws Relating to Promotion, Retirement, and Separation”), Congress grants the President authority to suspend any provision of law relating to the separation of any member of the armed forces who the President determines is essential to the national security of the United States, during any period of national emergency in which members of a reserve component are serving involuntarily on active duty.(emphasis added)

      So Obama could, if he so desired, issue an EO not only rescinding Clinton’s EO, but suspending the implementation of DADT.

      But I guess it takes a leader with some guts to Do The Right Thing™, in the absence of action from his comrades in the Senate.

  15. Moorcat, Wulgar(!),

    http://www.palmcenter.org/press/dadt/releases/New+Study+Says+Obama+Can+Halt+Gay+Discharges+With+Executive+Order

    It is within his power.

    • Duganz, no. He can halt discharges, which will be faced with court appeal. The point is to kill DADT, wouldn’t you agree?

      Obama could please everyone here. It is within his power.

      No, he can’t. You admit such yourself.

      • *sigh*

        You’re not even reading the link I’ve provided for you twice. But, whatever, I never said Obama had no way of pleasing anyone. I said he’s not pleasing…anyone.

        But this entire thread you’ve been more about being a nuisance than having an ongoing dialogue (Exhibit A: Your pissing match with Lizard). I think you have points, and I want you to take part in a constructive discussion, but don’t be patronizing or take me out of context.

        • I did read the link, and it says the same damned thing. It says the same damned thing that both my brother and I said it did. It says that Obama can remove the dictate of expulsion required by DADT but can’t remove the Congressional mandate. Please don’t tell me what I’ve read or not. Obama is pleasing the Constitution, and if ‘anyone is pissed then screw them’. Yeah, he’s not making most folk happy. And I should care … Why?

          But this entire thread you’ve been more about being a nuisance than having an ongoing dialogue (Exhibit A: Your pissing match with Lizard). I think you have points, and I want you to take part in a constructive discussion, but don’t be patronizing or take me out of context.

          Like you just did to me? No. You just took me out of context.

          You want a dialogue? You want “constructive discussion”? Fine. Lets talk about the Constitution. Who runs the Military? Federal Court judges?

          No. But: Oh’s no’s. I’m being mean to Lizard. What do you care about, Duganz? Lizard is so being maligned? Weep. The Constitution calls for federal control of troops and federal control by the citizen in Executive power. And pointing that out is somehow, I don’t know, shameful? To you? Really?

          A nuisance. Because you don’t’ agree. Yeah, I’m a nuisance.

          • A thousand apologies Wulfgar. I forgot how IN! MY! FACE! You are.

    • Having read the link (as well as at least half a dozen other legal discussions about Obama’s options here), I stand by what I have posted.

      The ONLY authority Obama has is to halt discharges (stop loss) based on national security concerns. He cannot prevent punishment based on being gay and he certainly can’t establish a baseline for equality for gays in the Military. There is still that pesky UCMJ issue to deal with and Obama does not have the authority to address it.

      Can Obama stop the Military from discharging gays – Yes.
      Does this even come close to solving the problem set up by Clinton – ABSOLUTELY NOT. What authority does Obama have to address treatment of gays in the service (remember, he does not have the authority to repeal DADT, only to prevent stop loss)? How does his authority address a person joining the service as a gay man or woman? The questions go on and on but they all boil down to the basics.. Who really has the authority to Repeal DADT and who has the authority to set the baseline for gay equality in the Service? Neither answer is Obama.

      Try as you like, you simply can’t make this about Obama. He did his job by pushing the Military to look at the issue and getting Congress to at least talk about it. Where the failure lies is strictly and COMPLETELY with the Senate.

      Do I personally wish Obama was a better leader on this issue? Yes, but my reasoning would probably surprise you. I personally think he promised too much that was out of his control. In fact, at this point, he has set himself up for the Senate to slap his peepee but good and there is little downside to the Republicans to do it. Further, his apparent lack of leadership (made worse by people like you who are DEMANDING he do something even when his hands are tied) will hurt his political position when and if something occurs to put him back in teh game.

      Let’s be honest here – isn’t the goal equality for gays in the Service? Let’s be equally honest, can Obama really do that himself without Congress or SCOTUS? Knash your teeth, scream at the wind all you want. At the end of the day, all Obama can do is a temp stop loss action that doesn’t bring the ball any closer to the finish line.

      • JC

        While the stop loss issue isn’t the end-all to the game, it is still very important to hundreds and hundreds of service men and women whose careers are on the line right now.

        As I said above, an effective leader would do what he could–rescind implementation of DADT and revoke Clinton’s Defense Directive 1304.26–and clearly state to the nation that he has done what is in his power to do, and that he was going to work his hardest to get the Senate to pass the DADT repeal, and on a separate track to get the 9th Cir. and SCOTUS to uphold the unconstitutionality of DADT, if the appeal were to get that far before a repeal may occur.

        He hasn’t done any of that. He is just bumbling around with vague promises of ending DADT without providing any clear, unambiguous path to the end. And stumbling into a political trap along the way.

        Sad, really.

        • While I tend to agree with you in some small part that Obama can take a more active role than he is in this mess, I would actually recommend a different course of action (at least a different order of action).

          First, he (and the Justice Department) have to pursue the appeal. It is mandated by the over-reach of the district court. When the injunction is overturned (and it will be), then and only then, should he invoke his right as CIC to prevent stop loss. My reasoning is simple…. Until the injunction is overturned by appeal, the Military has very publically stated that they will cease pursuing discharges and charges against those in the Military that have disclosed their sexual orientation. If Obama acts now, he is saying the Military Command that he doesn’t trust them to keep their word. As long as the injunction is in place, it won’t allow gays to (openly) join the service, but it stops the Military from acting on any new or existing cases.

          Second, (again, this is a timing issue), Obama should hold the Military to their word and require them to produce their report on gays in the service in keeping with the December deadline. As CIC, he has the authority to do this and, as it stands now, the Military seems to be going along with this deadline. It is unlikely that any court decision will be made in that time frame and it is almost a certainty that Congress (specifically the Senate) will not get off their fat asses and do something before then. It costs Obama nothing to keep to the deadline and it might aid in keeping a working relationship with the Military Command Obama has been working on over the last year on this issue.

          Third, Obama has to take the issue to the American People in a way that can’t be ignored. It isn’t enough that he has promised to do “something” about the issue. He needs to hammer home the idea that it is the lazy, self serving Senators that is at issue here and their failure to act has not only cost the US taxpayers billions of dollars with the DADT debaucle, they are costing the Military Necessary assets to National Security. Obama’s strength has always been his oration. Now is the time to spend the political capitol and lay the wreath where it belongs – at the feet of the Congress Critters – in such a way as to make EVERYONE understand what losers these people are for not addressing it.

          I don’t see Obama having much influence over SCOTUS (and he really shouldn’t as SCOTUS is a necessary check to the power of the President) but he can attempt to push the run through the courts. He has to be careful, though, because too much pushing can be seen as an attempt to influence what is suppose to be an objective system.

          There is little Obama can do about the trap of his own making other than appeal to the people who voted for these idiots and let them know that these people are hurting the men and women that protect this country. There is little more sacred to a Conservative (and more importantly one of the New Patriot Republicans) than the men and women in uniform and these Republicans voting against working on this issue can easily see it blow up in their face. Obama (as well as every public figure interested in solving this issue) should be stopping at every single microphone and explaining to the American Public how our service men and women are being hurt by DADT.

  16. lizard19

    says the wolf to the lizard:

    If you don’t understand that the White House has to appeal this ruling, then yeah, you are ignorant. So you tell me. Are you ignorant?

    wulfgar: let me state this as clearly as possible: i haven’t said one word about the supposed need for the obama administration to appeal the judge’s ruling because it threatens to take away a little magic from the executive-in-chief’s wand.

    what i have been doing is describing what i see as a lack of leadership (and competent political strategizing) from this administration.

    i’ve also tried to point out (like ladybug did) how the broader, more ignorant perception among average Americans will be of Obama, once again, playing defensive politics instead of taking a politic risk that could alienate him among the people who own his reelection.

    as for my ignorance, sure, sometimes i am, but mostly i’m not. thank you for finally answering a simple question with a straightforward answer.

  1. 1 The Road Less Traveled » Blog Archive » Partisan Wars Act 4 – Where do we go from here

    […] as to suggest an issue we can tackle first – that being homosexual discrimination in Montana (in light of the current news flurry over the DADT decision). Since that issue is large and cumbersome, let’s concentrate on one small aspect of that issue […]




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