Although the repeal of ”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was finalized Sept. 20, the lawsuit brought by Log Cabin Republicans challenging the constitutionality of DADT had remained active in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
In September, a three-judge panel of the appellate court had dismissed the lawsuit and ordered that the lower court ruling be vacated – a decision that the full panel of all active Ninth Circuit judges declined to reconsider Nov. 9.
Now, the only option left for LCR if it wishes to continue pressing its case is to seek review by the U.S. Supreme. The executive director of LCR, R. Clarke Cooper, told Metro Weekly Nov. 15 that no decision had yet been made on the next step.
After the Nov. 9 ruling, a response to LCR’s request for the panel or the full court – an en banc panel – to rehear the appeal, Cooper expressed disappointment.
”The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has chosen to back away from its role in defending the constitutional rights of servicemembers. With open service the law of the land, it now falls to servicemembers themselves and their allies to be vigilant in protecting the freedom of gay men and women in uniform,” Cooper said in a statement.
Cooper wrote Nov. 15, ”The board of directors of Log Cabin Republicans has yet to officially determine the next course of action with the courts.”
In the Nov. 9 statement, Cooper noted, ”Log Cabin Republicans will continue to fight for uniform treatment of all servicemembers, in Congress and in the court of public opinion, including working to end the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ which wrongly discriminates against military families. Log Cabin Republicans are proud to have brought this case, proud of our victory at trial, and proud that the ruling in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States provided the necessary motivation to make repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ a reality.”