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September 10, 2010

DADT ruled unconstitutional in Log Cabin case

In a case brought by Log Cabin Republicans, U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips overturned Don't Ask, Don't Tell yesterday as a violation of the Fifth and First Amendments. Here is part of Log Cabin's press statement:

Log Cabin Republicans celebrates the decision by a United States District Court to overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t” Tell as an unconstitutional violation of servicemembers’ rights to free speech and due process.

“As an American, a veteran and an Army reserve officer, I am proud the court ruled that the arcane Don't Ask Don't Tell statute violates the Constitution,” said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper. “Today, the ruling is not just a win for Log Cabin Republican servicemembers, but all American servicemembers.”

That is a fine statement. Congratulations to Log Cabin on this signal victory. Unfortunately, as the Blade reports, Cooper indulged the impulse to post the following on his Facebook page:

“R. Clarke Cooper is proud to learn Judge Phillips just ruled in favor of Log Cabin Republicans versus Obama,” he wrote. “Hooah!”

In this season when radicals have been taking the Republican Party not just far rightward but off a cliff, I was happy to have something to praise a Republican group for. Considering the importance of the moment, it is sad that Cooper had to turn it into a partisan jab against President Obama. Cooper undoubtedly knows that Obama opposes DADT and has been trying to repeal it. For all I know, the victory in Log Cabin's case might be due in part to a less-than-aggressive defense by the Justice Department. In any event, Cooper’s cheap partisan jab adds a gratuitous sour note to the celebration. I am glad that he used better judgment in his official news release. But this victory is bigger than that, and congratulations to Log Cabin for pressing the case.

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