By Nathaniel Frank, Senior Research Fellow, the Palm Center
This week the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the "don't ask, don't tell" policy governing gay troops. In doing so it granted a request by the Obama administration which had asked the court not to hear the appeal of James Pietrangelo, an Army Captain who was fired under the policy.
In asking the court not to take the case, the White House put itself into a tricky position. The administration found itself arguing that the lower court had ruled correctly in finding that the policy furthers a "legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion." Yet if the President believes that, why has he promised to get rid of the policy? Indeed, Obama has stated clearly that he believes the opposite to be true, saying the policy is a "counterproductive strategy" that "doesn't make us more safe." His press secretary, thrown on the defensive recently by mounting pressure to lift the ban, has repeatedly said that the policy "isn't working for our national interests."