About this Case
Major Margaret Witt, an Air Force officer, sued the Air Force, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Air Force, and her Air Force commander (“the Air Force”) after she was suspended from duty as an Air Force reservist nurse on account of her sexual relationship with a civilian woman. Witt alleged that the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy (“DADT”) violates substantive due process, the Equal Protection Clause, and procedural due process. She sought to enjoin DADT's enforcement. The district court dismissed the suit for failure to state a claim. The plaintiff appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
Summary of NLF's Brief
Our brief argued that the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) policy was constitutional because it did not discriminate on the basis of homosexual status. The DADT policy was not based on anti-homosexual prejudice, but rather on important considerations of military life. The policy was constitutional because it supported the military goals of promoting unit cohesion, reducing sexual tension, and protecting privacy. The “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy was also constitutional because none of the reasons relied upon to find the policy unconstitutional in prior cases are valid.