Appeals court reinstates “don’t ask, don’t tell” for the time being, pending recommendations, certification of military leaders.

Court halts DADT repeal process

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that the 18-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy on openly homosexual personnel serving in the U.S. Armed Forces is back in place for now. The decision trumps a July 6 appeals court ruling to dismantle the policy ahead of a DoD certification process now under way.The U.S. Justice Department filed an emergency motion Thursday to suspend the July 6 court decision, which would have pre-empted a law passed by Congress last winter ensuring an orderly process to any policy change. Part of that process includes certification decisions from top military officials.Chiefs of the military services submitted their recommendations on the repeal of DADT to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last week. If the Pentagon determines that the repeal of the policy will have no effect on military readiness, a 60-day implementation period would be imposed before the policy is adopted.American Legion National Commander Jimmie L. Foster said the Obama administration acted correctly in calling a halt to the court’s earlier decision. “We asked that the military be responsible for the method of implementation and timetable for the removal of the policy, and President Obama agreed with us,” Foster said. “This is about giving voice to our nation’s military leaders in decisions that may affect readiness and national security. That was what Congress called for last year. For a court to decide this in advance of the military certification decisions was premature, and the court rightfully acknowledged that. Decisions regarding readiness are best made by the commanders themselves, including the commander in chief, and not by the judiciary.”