Just in. Yet another in the recent string of victories for (real) conservative values and the U.S. Constitution...
U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips' landmark ruling was widely cheered by gay rights organizations that credited her with getting accomplished what President Obama and Washington politics could not.
U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say they are under no legal obligation to do so and could let Phillips' ruling stand.
More details in the full AP story.
The order follows a successful lawsuit by the Log Cabin Republicans in which Judge Phillips found the military's policy --- which President Obama has chosen not to end with an executive order as he could have --- to be unconstitutional on First Amendment free speech grounds and a violation of the due process rights of gay and lesbian service members.
The decision also follows a string of other recent victories in federal courts for real conservative values, as confirmed by Republican-appointed judges, such as the U.S. District Court judge's finding this past August that California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection clause.
As we noted recently, while it often takes far too long in this nation, the good news is that, eventually, Constitutional rights win and the haters lose. Today's ruling underscores that hopeful point --- in an otherwise dark period in this nation's history --- once again.
UPDATE 4:08pm PT: 21 Democratic U.S. Senators have sent a letter to the Obama Administration asking them to not appeal Judge Phillips' order. There are no GOP Senators signed on to the letter despite the fact that it was a GOP group who won the decision in court. While, to be fair, we also don't know if the Dem Senators asked the Republicans to sign or not, the fact that all of them voted against a repeal of DADT (if it were to be approved by the U.S. military) in the recent Defense Authorization bill suggests that it's likely none of the Republican Senators would have done so anyway. The letter from the Democratic Senators is now posted here....
UPDATE 10/15/10: Confusion reigns. Incredibly, the DoJ is asking the Judge to stay the order pending appeal after all. (Which part of "Unconstitutional" do you not understand, Mr. President?!) Of course, in truth, the decision is the DoJ's, not the President's directly. The Pentagon, earlier this week, has said for the moment they will not be enforcing DADT, though later in the week they told folks to not come out yet! Apparently. As mentioned, confusion reigns. Details on the appeal here. Memo from the Pentagon here.