The Supreme Court on Friday denied a
gay GOP group's plea to reinstate a lower court's order against
enforcement of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the 17-year-old law that
prohibits gay and bisexual service members from serving openly.
Lawyers for the Log Cabin Republicans
made their request late last week after the Ninth U.S. Circuit of
Appeals in California granted the Obama administration a hold on a
trial judge's order to stop enforcing the policy while the government
prepares an appeal to U.S.
District Judge Virginia Phillips' September ruling striking down
the law as unconstitutional and subsequent injunction against its
enforcement. Phillips' ruling set aside enforcement of the policy
for 8 days before the higher court acted.
In responding to the plea, Justice
Anthony Kennedy gave no hint of how the court views the subject.
The Obama administration urged the
court to keep the ban in place, arguing that forcing the military to
halt the policy at a time of war would create problems.
“The military should not be required
to suddenly and immediately restructure a major personnel policy that
has been in place for years, particularly during a time when the
nation is involved in combat operations overseas,” Clifford L.
Stanley, the under secretary of defense for personnel readiness,
wrote in a supporting document for the government.
President Barack Obama has pledged to
repeal the law that has ended the military careers of over 13,000
service members, but says he would prefer a legislative solution and
has urged Congress to act. Backers of repeal are lobbying senators
to take a second look at repeal during the upcoming lame-duck session
that begins Monday. But
recent GOP gains appear to have emboldened Republican senators who
to leaked details of a Pentagon report due on December 1, lifting the
ban would cause only minimal problems.