Supreme Court keeps 'don't ask' in place

Nov. 12, 2010 at 2:25 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court refused Friday to block the Defense Department from discharging openly gay military personnel.

The justices in a brief order rejected a request by Log Cabin Republicans for a restraining order, CNN reported. The gay rights group won a ruling from U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips in California that the "don't ask, don't tell" policy is unconstitutional and an order ending it, but an appeals court granted a stay.

With the high court's ruling, "don't ask, don't tell" will remain in place at least until March, Scotusblog reported. President Bill Clinton introduced the policy with an executive order, and Congress then enacted it into law.

Justice Elena Kagan, who was involved in challenges to the law as solicitor general, did not participate in issuing the order. Scotusblog said that suggests she might also abstain when the case comes to the Supreme Court, creating the possibility of a 4-4 split.

President Obama opposes the policy but says it should be changed by Congress, not the courts. His administration says a new policy on discharges provides new safeguards against unfair dismissals.

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