At the White House, More DADT Repeal Talk Planned

Posted by Chris Geidner
October 26, 2010 1:08 PM |

At the last White House meeting with outside groups regarding the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, the end result was the compromise language made public that evening that became the amendment offered by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) to the National Defense Authorization Act in the House. 

Today's meeting, reported earlier today by Kerry Eleveld, is not likely to result in such an immediate outcome, as it is to be focused on ways "to help us figure out how to move forward with the lame duck session," according to an email sent to participants by Brian Bond, the deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement at the White House.

As Congress is in recess until after the elections, any specific plans are unlikely to include immediate action.

A White House aide told Metro Weekly in an email, [T]he White House is meeting with several interested parties to discuss the legislative repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The meeting will concern the work that remains to be done to ensure Congressional action on this issue this year."

The meeting is to take place at 4:30 p.m. today, is to have bi-partisan participation and is, per Bond's email, "off the record."

R. Clarke Cooper, the executive director of Log Cabin Republicans, is reportedly one of the expected attendees for the meeting, as is Servicemembers United executive director Alex Nicholson. Nicholson is the individually named representative of the plaintiffs in the Log Cabin Republicans v. United States lawsuit. Assuming their attendance, the government would have an obligation not to discuss the case with the two men directly without their lawyers present.

Bond's email makes it clear to all the participants -- which reportedly include others whose organizations have taken a formal position in the LCR case through Monday's amicus curiae filings -- that "no discussion of current court cases or legal strategy" will take place at the meeting "or Counsel’s Office will end the meeting."

[UPDATE @ 2:15 P.M.: The Huffington Post's Sam Stein gets this follow-up:

Asked for comment, however, an administration official stressed that there are very precise legal lines that can't be crossed. One of them is talking about ongoing litigation with litigants in the room.

"Some of the participants in the meeting are involved in active litigation against the government on the issue of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, so it wouldn't be appropriate to discuss that litigation," said the administration official "This is standard procedure for any meeting where that would be the case."

"You could add further that our lawyers can't have contact with represented parties without their counsel being present."

The meeting, still, is yet to be held.]

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