A federal court in California has given
the Obama administration ten days to decide whether to appeal its
ruling last week that ordered the Pentagon to halt enforcement of
“Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the Army Times reported.
A three-judge panel of the 9th
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco last week lifted its
own ruling that kept the policy in place after U.S. District Judge
Virginia A. Phillips ruled last September that the Pentagon's policy
The Pentagon has said it will abide by
the order but has yet to announce whether it plans to appeal the
ruling to the Supreme Court.
Monday's order requires the government
to state its position on the matter.
The court order comes just weeks before
President Barack Obama is expected to sign certification that the
military is ready to end the gay ban. Under the terms outlined in
last December's legislative repeal of the policy, “Don't Ask, Don't
Tell” would end 60 days after certification.
“The Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit is correctly pressing the Department of Justice and
Department of Defense on whether or not they intend to defend the
constitutionality of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'” said Aubrey Sarvis,
executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN),
the largest group lobbying for repeal of the policy. “It is our
hope they will not continue to do so, and we will soon have finality
with certification and repeal.”