The New York Times reports:
A federal judge issued a worldwide injunction Tuesday immediately stopping enforcement of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, suspending the 17-year-old ban on openly gay U.S. troops.
U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips’ landmark ruling also ordered the government to suspend and discontinue all pending discharge proceedings and investigations under the policy.
U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal. Pentagon and Department of Justice officials said they are reviewing the case and had no immediate comment.
The injunction goes into effect immediately, said Dan Woods, the attorney who represented the Log Cabin Republicans, the gay rights group that filed the lawsuit in 2004 to stop the ban’s enforcement.
A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the U.S. military to stop enforcing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, putting an end to the ban on openly gay troops.
U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips’ permanent worldwide injunction — praised by gay rights organizations — orders the military “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” policy.
The judge, a Clinton appointee based in the Central District of California, previously ruled that the policy regarding gays serving in the military violated service members’ Fifth Amendment rights to due process and freedom of speech, but had delayed issuing the injunction.
The case could be done next week if the administration decides not to appeal, or it could take five years if there is an appeal, or Congress could move faster than the Justice Department, which would render this case moot,” said Belkin, whose institute researches sexual minorities in the military and advocates an end to the ban.