U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips ruled today that the American military must stop enforcing Don't Ask, Don't Tell permanently. Last month, Phillips issued an opinion that the military was violating troops' First Amendment rights. Phillips wrote that the government had failed to meet the burden of proving that DADT was necessary for "military readiness and unit cohesion."
Judge Phillips gave both sides in the suit, the Log Cabin Republicans and the federal government, a chance to respond. The Justice Department filed a brief arguing that halting DADT was too big a burden and that any injunction should apply only to the named parties.
So much for that. Today Judge Phillips ordered a permanent injunction, writing that the military must "immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding, that may have been commenced under the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Act. . . on or prior to the date of this Judgment."
Now the government can appeal her ruling, and since she's a district judge, you can start the countdown for that filing. Meanwhile, you can download today's very short opinion here.
Read up. We'll have more on the show tonight.