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Obama Administration Defends 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' A Policy It Wants To Repeal

Earlier this week, Judge Virginia Phillips, from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, ordered the military to stop enforcing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Today, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an appeal against the decision.

As NPR's Rachel Martin reports, the ruling has forced the Obama administration to defend a policy it wants to repeal.

According to a DOJ spokesperson, the government is defending the statute because that's what is traditionally done when acts of Congress are challenged. At the same time, the filing goes out of its way to say that President Obama intends to reverse "don't ask, don't tell" through an "orderly repeal process."

White House officials say that means getting Congress to do away with the policy through legislation.

The filing raises questions about the injunction, which forced the Department of Defense to put a stop to all investigations and pending discharges under "don't ask, don't tell." It's likely the case will now go to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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David Gura
Based in New York, David Gura is a correspondent on NPR's business desk. His stories are broadcast on NPR's newsmagazines, All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition, and he regularly guest hosts 1A, a co-production of NPR and WAMU.
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