Sad news this afternoon from the Ninth Circuit, which has just dismissed the Log Cabin Repbulican's case against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Why? Because with repeal in effect, the case, as the Ninth determined, is effectively moot. The possible implications of today's ruling, after the jump.
The ruling reads:
“This suit became moot when the repeal of section 654 took effect on September 20. If Log Cabin filed suit today seeking a declaration that section 654 is unconstitutional or an injunction against its application (or both), there would be no Article III controversy because there is no section 654. The repeal, in short, gave Log Cabin “everything” its complaint “hoped to achieve.” There is no longer “a present, live controversy of the kind that must exist” for us to reach the merits.
We vacate the district court’s judgment, injunction, opinions, orders, and factual findings—indeed, all of its past rulings—to clear the path completely for any future litigation. Those now-void legal rulings and factual findings have no precedential, preclusive, or binding effect.”
Because the Ninth Circuit has tossed the case and decided not to declare "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" unconstitutional, the door has been left wide open for any future president to attempt to reinstate the discriminatory law. Considering the current crop of GOP presidential front-runners, today's developments are especially troubling.
The court made the ruling per curiam, meaning it cannot be attributed to any specific judge serving on the Ninth Circuit bench (in case it backfires in the court's face via a civil rights crisis).
(Source: Metro Weekly)