Skip to comments.Appeals court tosses gays in military lawsuit
Posted on 09/30/2011 9:37:30 AM PDT by ConjunctionJunction
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal appeals court refused Thursday to decide the constitutionality of the military's now-repealed "don't ask, don't tell" policy banning openly gay troops, saying the issue has been resolved since Americans can enlist and serve in the armed forces without regard to sexual orientation.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco tossed out a lawsuit that had challenged the military policy as a violation of gay service members' civil rights. In doing so, the appeals court also dismissed a Southern California trial judge's year-old ruling that the policy was unconstitutional.
The gay rights group Log Cabin Republicans filed the lawsuit in 2004 challenging the policy. The group's lawyer, Dan Woods, said he would ask the full 9th Circuit to review the panel's decision.
The group recently argued the lower court ruling, which also barred enforcement of "don't ask, don't tell" should remain in effect despite this month's repeal because future administrations and lawmakers could reintroduce a ban on gay service.
The three judges strongly disagreed in their Thursday opinion, saying the case is moot because there is nothing left to challenge regarding the policy enacted as section 654.
"This suit became moot when the repeal of section 654 took effect on Sept. 20," the ruling said. "If Log Cabin filed suit today seeking a declaration that section 654 is unconstitutional or an injunction against its application (or both), there would be no Article III controversy because there is no section 654."
The panel specifically rejected Log Cabins' assertion that the appeals court should decide the underlying constitutional issues to prevent future limitations or outright bans on military service by gay and lesbian Americans.
(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...
Forget DADT, just arrest and execute them
How long before queer servicemen start being found dead after sticking a hand in the wrong crotch?