Supreme Court Lets “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Stand

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The Supreme Court ruled on Friday to leave the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on openly gay members in effect while a lower court reviews a federal judge’s ruling that struck down a ban last month, according to the Supreme Court blog.

The ruling denied a civil rights group’s request to reverse a ruling that ended a stay on “don’t ask, don’t tell” put in place by District Judge Virginia Phillips last month, who initially ruled the ban unconstitutional.

The ruling was made without dissent, and Justice Elena Kagan did not take part.

The military stopped enforcing the ban weeks ago as the Justice Department challenged the stay, but now the ban will likely be in place until March unless Congress can repeal it. In September, Senate Republicans blocked legislation that would have repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

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The Obama administration has said it wants “don’t ask, don’t tell” repealed in Congress and was obliged to challenge the Phillips ruling and the stay on the ban.

The Supreme Court ruling did not decide anything about the constitutionality of the ban.

The justices did not specify if gay and lesbian military members who have come out in uniform in recent weeks will have to retreat back into the closet.