Commentary: Judge makes common sense call on 'don't ask, don't tell'

It would be far preferable if Congress repealed "don't ask, don't tell," which for 17 long years has prevented gays from serving openly in the military. But the political atmosphere is so poisoned that a legislative solution would be ugly, and might not succeed anytime soon.

So if it takes a judge, sitting above the political fray, to end the discriminatory, self-defeating policy, so be it.

Declaring that fundamental rights were being violated, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips in Riverside issued an injunction Tuesday, immediately barring the armed forces from enforcing "don't ask, don't tell" anywhere in the world.

The U.S. Justice Department has 60 days to take the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, based in San Francisco.

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