New President could thwart DADT Repeal by reinstating ban on open service

We mentioned in an earlier post that Michele Bachmann was jabbering about reinstating DADT if she became President. She could do it by using her Executive Authority.

The NYT’s Jim Dao talked to SLDN”s Aubrey Sarvis about this:

Congress merely laid out a process under which the ban could be lifted. Under that process, the president, Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had to certify that repeal would not undermine recruiting, retention, morale and other indicators of what is commonly called military readiness.

Once that certification was made and sent to Congress, the secretary of defense then had to prepare and issue new regulations allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly. That is where the process is now: the regulations are being written and the ban will be lifted on Sept. 20.

But because Congress did not require the military to allow open service, a new president could order his or her new secretary of defense to issue new regulations that effectively reinstate the ban, said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which advocates for gay and lesbian troops.

Mr. Sarvis said that if a Republican president were to take that path, it would essentially return the military to the pre-don’t ask era, when gays were banned under regulation. In those years, which date back at least to World War II, he said, there were no federal statutes expressly prohibiting openly gay people from serving. It wasn’t until President Clinton pushed to reverse those regulations that Congress enacted don’t ask, don’t tell in the 1990s, statutorily prohibiting open service.

Aubrey thinks it would be difficult for a new President to implement a new ban on open service “because senior military leaders prefer continuity in policy and would not have much appetite for reversing course so quickly.” It would sure fly in the face of public opinion, too. But, the when the haters get to hating on the gays, not much stops them.

Republicans are unabashed about using power when they have it. Yet, our side has to beg, scream and plead the Obama administration to use its power — and they still won’t. How many of the those executive actions laid out by the Task Force’s New Beginnings Initiative have been implemented? Not many.

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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