A few weeks ago, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips ruled that Don't Ask, Don't Tell violates the First and Fifth Amendment.
Today, Phillips issued an injunction against enforcement- great news. Her order, she writes:
DECLARES that the act known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" infringes the fundamental rights of United States servicemembers and prospective servicemembers and violates (a) the substantive due process rights guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and (b) the rights to freedom of speech and to petition the Government for redress of grievances guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
PERMANENTLY ENJOINS Defendants United States of America and the Secretary of Defense, their agents, servants, officers, employees, and attorneys, and all persons acting in participation or concert with them or under their direction or command, from enforcing or applying the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Act and implementing regulations, against any person under their jurisdiction or command;
ORDERS Defendants United States of America and the Secretary of Defense immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding, that may have been commenced under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Act, or pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 654 or its implementing regulations, on or prior to the date of this Judgment.
However, a stay could come from Phillips (as it did in a similar form by Judge Vaughn Walker in the Prop 8 case), the 9th Circuit, or the Supreme Court. And then there's the issue of appeal, should the DOJ choose to do so (they have 60 days to do so).
A copy of the full order can be found here.
Alex Nicholson, a colleague who testified in the case, released the following statement:
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, proudly hailed today's announcement of an injunction from U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips barring enforcement of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and ordering the Department of Defense to halt investigations and discharges pursuant to the law.
"This order from Judge Phillips is another historic and courageous step in the right direction, a step that Congress has been noticeably slow in taking," said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the sole named veteran plaintiff in the case along with the Log Cabin Republicans. "While this is certainly news to be celebrated, we would also advise caution in advance of a potential stay from the Ninth Circuit. If the appellate court wishes to put itself on the right side of history, however, it will allow this sound and long-over due decision to remain in effect."
The case that won the injunction, Log Cabin Republicans vs. United States of America, was originally filed in 2004. Just last month, and after a two-week trial in July, Judge Phillips issued her final ruling in the case, finding that the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law was unconstitutional on first and fifth amendment grounds. She also indicated her intent to issue an injunction barring further discharges in light of that finding. A copy of the injunction can be found at www.ServicemembersUnited.org/injunction.
Update: Chris over at Metro Weekly reports the DOJ has filed appeal, both in this case as well as the Massachusetts case striking down DOMA.
For jogging your memory on the DOMA case, I did a lengthy analysis here at OpenLeft of next steps after consulting with some respected experts. It can be found here.