I have always said an Executive Order halting the enforcement of DADT was a bad idea. It’s a temporary measure that could easily put military gays in jeopardy should the next president decide to do away with it–which he could with the stroke of a pen.
I know that it takes an act of Congress to overturn an act of Congress, which is why legislative repeal is a sure-fire way to end DADT. It also leads to the most systematic repeal process, allowing time for policies and regulations to be updated, as well as training and education, etc.
Nevertheless, legislative repeal can also be reversed. If repeal advocates gain sufficient majorities in Congress over the course of the next term, a law could conceivably be passed that reinstates the ban. It’s happened before.
I’m no constitutional scholar, but it seems like a decision from the Supreme Court would offer permanence. Declaring DADT and other similar measures that discriminate against gays as unconstitutional would make it nearly impossible to pass legislation down the road barring gays from service. It may also serve as a precedent to strike down other laws that discriminate against gays.
I think that Judge Phillips’ decision should be appealed because I don’t think it’s a good idea to allow a single federal judge to strike down an act of Congress. A higher court–either a Federal Court of Appeals or even the Supreme Court–should be called upon to validate the lower court’s decision, and the way to do that is through appeal.