Sure to be labeled an “activist judge” for upholding the constitution against a discriminatory law, Judge VIRGINIA A. PHILLIPS ruled the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Act is unconstitutional and permanently enjoined (prevented) the government from enforcing the law. From the opinion:
The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Act infringes the fundamental rights of United States servicemembers in many ways, some described above. The Act denies homosexuals serving in the Armed Forces the right to enjoy “intimate conduct” in their personal relationships. The Act denies them the right to speak about their loved ones while serving their country in uniform; it punishes them with discharge for writing a personal letter, in a foreign language, to a person of the same sex with whom they shared an intimate relationship before entering military service; it discharges them for including information in a personal communication from which an unauthorized reader might discern their homosexuality. In order to justify the encroachment on these rights, Defendants faced the burden at trial of showing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Act was necessary to significantly further the Government’s important interests in military readiness and unit cohesion. Defendants failed to meet that burden. Thus, Plaintiff is entitled to judgment in its favor on the first claim in its First Amended Complaint for violation of the substantive due process rights guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment.
This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to add your thoughts on this, or any other topic that comes to mind.