Kevin And Don Respond To Being Self Loathing

Looking back at their journey from the Stonewall Democratic Club to Log Cabin Republicans, they claim it was one that was actually started by the democrats. After being told that marriage as not a priority on the agenda in 1995, they became disillusioned with the DEMS. For a decade they felt like they did not belong until they met the republicans of the Log Cabin Republican Club and discovered they too shared a dream of marriage equality. This blog is now a digital time capsule of their time as Republicans and moderated by a friend and supporter.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Log Cabin's "JOHN DOE" Has Standing In Log Cabin Republicans v. USA Challenge to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" #DADT

Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America

Deadline nears as judge rejects procedural bar to 'Don't Ask' challenge
Amanda Bronstad, National Law Journal
June 01, 2010

The U.S. government has until next week to make its final pre-trial arguments against a lawsuit alleging that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is unconstitutional.

The deadline neared as Congress moved to repeal the law that bans service in the military by open gays and lesbians. The House of Representatives voted to approve repeal on Friday and a similar measure cleared a key Senate committee on Thursday.

In the lawsuit, which is being brought by the Log Cabin Republicans, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips, who sits in Riverside, Calif., refused on Thursday to grant the government's motion to throw out the case, rejecting the argument that the organization lacked standing. She also concluded that the legal standard for weighing the group's due process claims was established by a 2008 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Witt v. Dep't of the Air Force. She allowed both sides to submit further briefing on that issue.

The government's briefs are due on June 9; the Log Cabin Republicans have until June 23. The group comprises gay and lesbian members of the Republican Party.

"We are delighted with Judge Phillips' ruling on the standing issue and glad that she saw fit to reject that argument by the government," Dan Woods, a partner in the Los Angeles office of White & Case who represents the Log Cabin Republicans, said in an e-mailed statement. "We are cautiously optimistic about the remainder of the motion, which remains to be decided after further briefing requested by the court. If she follows her inclination, as explained towards the end of the decision, she would also be ruling in our favor on the standard of review to be applied to [the law]."

A call to Department of Justice spokesman Charles Miller was not returned.

In the meantime, the judge put the original June 14 trial date on hold, and both sides have been unable to come up with a new schedule, Woods said. He expected that a new trial date may be set in July.

In Thursday's order, Phillips disagreed with the government's argument that the Log Cabin Republicans, which filed the suit on behalf of two of its members, lacked standing because the individuals were not "bona fide" members when the suit was filed.

One of the individuals, John Alex Nicholson, joined the U.S. Army in 2001, only to be discharged one year later under the law. He was given an honorary membership in 2006 by the Georgia chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans.

The other individual, who is referred to in court papers as John Doe, joined Log Cabin Republicans in 2004. He is an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Phillips said that what mattered was their membership status when the amended complaint was filed, not the original complaint. The original suit was filed in 2004, but Log Cabin Republicans filed an amended complaint in 2006 attaching Nicholson's declaration. In 2007, the group attached Doe's declaration.

"Although it is true that there has been but one named plaintiff here for the duration of the action, an association that newly identifies a member for standing purposes is analogous to a class that newly identifies a class member with standing," the judge said.

Phillips rejected the government's arguments that Doe lacked standing because he had not yet been affected by the law. "Here, the [Don't Ask, Don't Tell] Policy on its face shows that there is a reasonable threat that it will be enforced against Lt. Col. Doe if the military learns his identity," she wrote.

As for the due process claim, the U.S. Air Force in Witt discharged a nurse after superiors learned that she lived with a woman off base. A federal judge threw out her case, but the 9th Circuit reversed, in part based on Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a Texas law that criminalized private, consensual sodomy.

The recent House vote was on an amendment to the defense authorization bill, which also contains money for an alternative engine for the controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The White House has indicated it would veto the bill if the engine funds remained.

The Senate is expected to take up the bill this summer. The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday approved an amendment repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

The legislation in both chambers requires that the repeal become law only after a Defense Department review of the policy is completed in December and Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates certify that the military is prepared for the change.

Amanda Bronstad can be contacted at abronstad@alm.com