Trial in Log Cabin’s lawsuit against DADT starts today in California

The trial in Log Cabin Republican’s lawsuit against DADT starts today at 9:00 a.m Pacific Time in a federal courtroom in California. The Justice Department will be defending DADT. Some background from The Advocate:

Log Cabin’s legal team has a lengthy list of both expert witnesses and former service members affected by the policy, including Lt. Jenny Kopfstein and Maj. Mike Almy, both of whom testified about DADT repeal before the Senate Armed Service Committee in March.

Expert witnesses in the plaintiffs’ list submitted to the court include Palm Center director Aaron Belkin and Nathaniel Frank, author of Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America.

By all accounts the Justice Department will not put any witnesses on the stand to defend DADT; it has argued that the law is constitutional if Congress passed it in 1993 with a rational intent to secure an effective and cohesive military. But Judge Phillips has indicated she will allow court evidence arising after 1993, as court cases decided after DADT went into effect have raised the level of scrutiny for laws that perpetrate antigay discrimination.

“[The Justice Department] is fighting this case tooth and nail by getting us completely thrown out, but at the same time, it’s questionable that they’re not putting up more of a robust defense,” Moran said.

And, some perspective from Richard Socarides:

“This trial is taking place as a direct consequence of the president’s political decision in January 2009 to put the repeal of this law on the back burner,” said Richard Socarides, an attorney and a senior adviser to President Bill Clinton on gay rights issues. “We shouldn’t still be living under a law that excludes people from military service because they are gay.”

Socarides added the fact that the U.S. Justice Department will be defending the policy in court is nonsensical.

“On the one hand, the president has said he’s working hard to stop these discharges. And on the other hand, the Justice Department is spending taxpayer dollars defending their ongoing right to kick people out,” Socarides said.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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