Court Upholds ‘Don’t Tell’ Policy
A federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., Friday upheld the Clinton administration’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for homosexuals in the military, saying it was inappropriate for the federal courts to tell Congress and the president how to deal with such an issue.
In a 9-4 decision, the full 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals became the highest court yet to rule on the issue of how homosexuals may be treated by the military. The majority opinion emphasized that the policy as set by the White House was based on a law enacted by Congress and that courts were traditionally obligated to defer to the other branches of government, particularly when it involved military policy.
The ruling continues the march to the Supreme Court by gay service members and former service members who have brought a fusillade of lawsuits in courts across the nation challenging the regulations that embody the policy.