The plaintiffs, challenged the law under the Fifth and First Amendments to the Constitution, and Judge Phillips agreed. “The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Act infringes the fundamental rights of United States service members in many ways,” she wrote. “ In order to justify the encroachment on these rights, Defendants faced the burden at trial of showing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Act was necessary to significantly further the Government’s important interests in military readiness and unit cohesion. Defendants failed to meet that burden.”
The rule, she wrote in an 86-page opinion, does not promote military readiness — and, in fact, has a “direct and deleterious effect” on the armed services....
The decision will not change the policy right away; the judge called for the plaintiffs to submit a proposed injunction limiting the law by September 16th, and invited defendants to submit their objections to the plan a week after that. A decision would follow, and even then would likely be stayed pending appeals.
September 9, 2010
"The 'don’t ask, don’t tell' policy toward gay members of the military is unconstitutional, a federal judge has ruled."
The NYT reports: