In a brief order on Friday, the Supreme Court denied a motion that was aimed at allowing a worldwide ban on enforcement of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy on gays in the military to take effect.
As expected, the order in the case of Log Cabin Republicans v. United States noted that new Justice Elena Kagan "took no part" in the Court's decision on the application. As solicitor general before joining the Court, Kagan told the Senate during her confirmation hearings in June that she had engaged in "very serious discussion" with the Defense Department on how to handle the related case of Witt v. Department of the Air Force, in the context of deciding on the best way to defend the statute that embodies the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Kagan has taken a relatively strict stance in favor of recusing in cases in which she had any involvement as solicitor general.
In the Log Cabin Republicans case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Nov. 1 stayed enforcement of a ruling against the policy issued by U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips. The plaintiffs, seeking to revive the Phillips ruling, asked the high court to lift the 9th Circuit's stay, which the justices have now rejected. This appears to guarantee that the policy will stay in effect while the 9th circuit considers the government's challenge to Phillips' ruling, which could take months.