Skip to main content

Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Find a Lawyer

More Options

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Court Challenge Reinstated

By Admin on May 22, 2008 8:35 AM

A federal appeals court has reinstated an Air Force reservist's challenge to the constitutionality of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, ordering the lower court to re-examine the case under a stricter standard of review.

The suit was filed by U.S. Air Force Major Margaret Witt, an Air Force reserve flight nurse stationed at McChord Air Force Base in Washington State. Witt was suspended from duty after a military investigation and hearing concluded that she had declared her homosexuality, in violation of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. In Wednesday's decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that Witt's "due process" challenges to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" should be reinstated, and that the case should be examined by the lower court under a higher level of scrutiny. As the New York Times reports, Wednesday's decision is notable because the court ruled that in defending the constitutionality of its action under the "Don't ask, Don't Tell" policy, "the government must go further than simply showing a rational basis for its action, instead proving in each case that an important government interest is at stake and that the intrusion into the plaintiff's private life significantly advanced the interest." 

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:
Copied to clipboard