Press Room

Extension of National Emergency Could Benefit Gay Troops

Sub-Heading: 
Continuation of Emergency Status Allows President Additional Year to Sign Executive Order
Release Date: 
September 14, 2009
Press Contact: 
Indra Lusero, Assistant Director, Palm Center, 805-893-5664, info@palmcenter.ucsb.edu
Image: 
planesfromdefenselink.jpg

SANTA BARBARA, CA, September 14, 2009 – After President Obama extended
the National Emergency for one year last Thursday, experts noted that
the move allows him additional time to sign an executive order
suspending “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

For a pdf version of this press release click here.

SANTA BARBARA, CA, September 14, 2009 – After President Obama extended the National Emergency for one year last Thursday, experts noted that the move allows him additional time to sign an executive order suspending “don’t ask, don’t tell.”  According to a “stop-loss” statute (10 U.S.C. § 12305), Congress has authorized the President to suspend any law regarding military separations during national security emergencies.

“By extending the state of emergency,” said Dr. Aaron Belkin, “the president has given himself more time to suspend the gay ban via executive order.”  Belkin is Director of the Palm Center, which first proposed the idea of suspending “don’t ask, don’t tell” by executive order in a May 2009 study

On September 10, the president issued a document titled, “Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks” in which he noted that, “I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared on September 14, 2001.”

A recent article in Politico.com, suggested that the legislative process to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” is badly stalled.  Belkin added that, “Because the legislative process is frozen, a two-part strategy is the only realistic way to go.  Start with an executive order, and then follow with legislative repeal.”

The multi-step approach has been endorsed by the Center for American Progress and a number of other prominent organizations.

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The Palm Center is a research institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  The Center uses rigorous social science to inform public discussions of controversial social issues, enabling policy outcomes to be informed more by evidence than by emotion. Its data-driven approach is premised on the notion that the public makes wise choices on social issues when high-quality information is available.  For more information, visit www.palmcenter.ucsb.edu.