DADT Pre-trail Hearing Set for June 28

Will “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” go to trail in California?

June 28, in a federal district courthouse in Riverside, CA, interested parties may finally learn whether the Log Cabin Republicans’ six-year case challenging the government’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy (DADT) will finally go to a trial. If so, that landmark trial would open on July 13.

“This case is the only one in the country that challenges the constitutionality of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” said Dan Woods, a partner in White & Case’s Los Angeles office who is representing the Log Cabin Republicans. “It goes right to the heart of whether this policy is legal.”

On June 28, White & Case and Justice Department lawyers will participate in a pretrial conference with the court. In preparation for this conference, both sides have filed witness lists, exhibit lists and numerous pretrial memoranda. Predictably, the government has also filed motions to exclude evidence Log Cabin Republicans intends to introduce at trial, and Log Cabin Republicans have responded by filing briefs in opposition. By the end of the day, it is expected the court will make several important decisions, including whether this case will finally go to trial, as scheduled, on July 13.

“The government intends to submit no testimony from any military or government official that DADT was or is necessary to achieve its ostensible purposes; no expert opinion testimony to that effect; and no reports or studies to that effect,” write the Log Cabin Republicans in the Plaintiff’s Memorandum of Contentions of Fact and Law.

“All the evidence at this trial will be presented by Log Cabin, and that evidence will overwhelmingly demonstrate the unconstitutionality of DADT.”

“Finally, some have questioned why Log Cabin Republicans are actively pursuing this case even as Congress appears poised to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” said Woods. “The answer is that such a legislative solution is neither certain to be enacted nor would it be immediate and unconditional in effect. And, with a trial date of July 13 fast approaching, we believe we are poised to bring a speedy and definitive end to this policy with such repeal becoming effective immediately – a stark contrast to the approach Congress is considering.”

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