Contact: Joe March or John Raughter, The American Legion, 317-630-1253
INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 14 /Christian Newswire/ -- As the board of directors of The American Legion met in Indianapolis, its national commander called on President Obama to immediately appeal the ruling from U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips in Riverside, Calif., that would "immediately suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation or other proceeding that may have been commenced" under Don't Ask; Don't Tell.
"Consistent with our long-standing policy of allowing the military to police its own requirements and standards for service, The American Legion requests you appeal this decision and seek a stay on the current injunction," National Commander Jimmie L. Foster wrote in a letter to the White House. "No action by a single federal judge should obviate the policy of Don't Ask; Don't Tell before the Department of Defense completes its review."
In meetings held in May, the organization passed a resolution urging Congress not to take any action that would alter the Department of Defense policy of DADT before it had a chance to complete the review.
"For an unelected judge with lifetime tenure to issue such a ruling while the military was in the process of surveying its troops on the impact of such a policy change is outrageous," Foster said. "She is basically saying that she knows more than our military leadership, our Congress and our elected commander in chief."
The Dept. of Defense has always established fitness for duty criteria and standards of conduct consistent with the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
"Our military is engaged in two wars," he added. "Military commanders have much more important issues to deal with. This is not about politics. It's about doing what's best for our troops and not distracting from the war effort. Our military should not be micro-managed by judicial edicts."