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View Diary: DADT: Major Witt to return To Air Force! "No important govt interest served by discharge." Updatex6. (320 comments)

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  •  it was so good, i had to read it again, and again (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, skrekk, fhcec, dharmafarmer, Loose Fur, skip945

    and again:

    "After ruling that retired Major Margaret Witt, a lesbian Air Force Reserve officer, should be reinstated to her unit, U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton on Friday made the following comments from the bench:

    Major Witt, you and I are unlikely to see one another again, in this context, anyway. I’d like to make a couple of points before you go:

    1. I hope you will request reinstatement with the Air Force Reserves and the 446th [her unit]. You will provide the best evidence that open service of gays and lesbians will have no adverse effect on cohesion, morale or readiness in this or perhaps any Air Force or military unit.
    1. You have been and continue to be a central figure in a long-term, highly charged civil-rights movement. That role places extraordinary stresses on you, I know. Today, you have won a victory in that struggle, the depth and duration of which will be determined by other judicial officers and, hopefully soon, the political branches of government. You said something in the trial that resonated with me. You said the best thing to come out of all this turmoil is the reaction of your parents when you told them of your sexual orientation: their love and support for you."

    there is NOTHING like love and support.

    The Addington perpwalk is the trailhead for accountability in this wound on our national psyche. [...you know: Dick Cheney's "top" lawyer.] --Sachem

    by greenbird on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:44:19 PM PDT

    •  Apparently Leighton got pretty emotional when (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbird

      he made those comments.  It also sounds like learned something as part of this trial, and the previous trial:

      In 2006, Leighton rejected Witt’s claims that the Air Force violated her rights when it fired her under the "don’t ask, don’t tell" law. An appeals court panel overruled him two years later and said the military can’t fire people for being gay unless it shows their dismissal was necessary to further military goals.

      The ruling left it to Leighton to determine whether her firing met that standard. At the end of a six-day trial, he suggested the ruling tied his hands.

      "I made my call with regard to whether this act was constitutional," he said. "My colleagues – my friends – said, ‘Ron, you got it wrong,’" Leighton said during an extensive back-and-forth with a Justice Department lawyer. "They told me what I needed to do, what I needed to ask."

      What changed the legal landscape was the 9th's finding that heightened scrutiny applied, which is huge.  From Leighton's comments to the defense it sounds like the DoJ knows they are defending the indefensible:

      He said he did not believe the courts were the appropriate venue for deciding whether gays can serve openly in the military, and he credited the Justice Department lawyers for doing an excellent job despite having a tough legal row to hoe.

      "You are in a difficult spot, and everybody knows it," he said. "Your ability to take a licking and keep on ticking is much appreciated."

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