A Reprieve? (DADT Doesn’t Need It Or Deserve It)

October 21st, 2010

As reported in Temporary reprieve for ‘don’t ask’ policy (Washington Post 10/21/10),‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Temporarily Upheld By Appeals Court (Huffington Post 10/20/10), and DADT Conflict Explained: Why Obama Administration Lawyers Fight For A DADT Policy Obama Opposes (Huffington Post 10/21/10), a three-judge panel overruled Judge Phillips, granting a stay of her DADT enforcement injunction and allowing DADT to continue pending their further review of the case. Needless to say, I’m disappointed, since I believe (as described in my earlier pieces) that suspending enforcement itself causes no harm (as evidenced by the fact that there wasn’t a single incident or problem in the eight days during which DADT was suspended), while further expulsions clearly do. Judge Phillips made the right call. The appeals panel didn’t. DOJ also didn’t: in my view, they could have upheld their responsibility to defend Congressional law by appealing the lower court’s ruling without requesting a stay. Hopefully, those mistakes won’t stand long.


“Look what happened last week: The military suspended [the ban] with no training, and guess what? Nothing happened.” – Aaron Belkin, executive director of the UC Santa Barbara Palm Center, which studies the issue of gays in the military
 
“We hope that the 9th Circuit will recognize the inherent contradiction in the government’s arguments for a longer stay in light of eight full days of non-enforcement with no ‘enormous consequences.'” — Alexander Nicholson, a gay veteran and one of plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
 
“While we are disappointed with the court’s ruling granting a temporary administrative stay, we view the decision as snohting more than a minor setback. We didn’t come this far to quit now, and we expect that once the 9th Circuit has received and considered full briefing on the government’s application for a stay, it will deny that application.” — Dan Woods, lawyer for main plaintiff, the Log Cabin Republicans


When the Post talks about DADT getting a “reprieve,”

They the basic nature of the problem misconceive.


It’s as if DADT is personified,

And now gets another chance when the injunction is denied.


But DADT is not a person with rights to be protected,

It’s a mistaken policy which needs to be corrected.


A person gets a reprieve when punishment for moral reasons is delayed,

But in granting this stay, that principal is betrayed.


The morally unjust punishmnent is allowed to continue

And additional victims to its tally accrue.


It’s not a “reprieve,” it’s the exact opposite,

More akin to letting a criminal his crime continue to commit.


LCR’s lawyer says the stay is a minor setback,

But it’s not minor if you’re the one who his or her bags has to pack.


I hope Dan’s right that the appeals court will deny a continued stay,

Further harm to our brave gay service members to allay.


After all, unlike the DADT policy itself,

They’re real people, just like me and yourself.


They put their lives on the line for our protection

And deserve a lot more than military ejection.


And based on what the overwhelming majority of Americans believe,

They, not a failed policy, are the ones that deserve the reprieve.

***

Here’s your theme music for today, You Don’t Need It Or Deserve It by The March Greens.

 

Here’s another relevant song by a very cool band, Reprieve, by One Under.

 
 

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