Judge Christine Odell Cook Miller can't believe the Obama administration is still defending itself in a federal lawsuit over the lower severance pay for soldiers discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The suit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Staff Sargent Richard Collins, who was discharged from the Air Force for being gay, and 142 other veterans who received only half of the pay they were entitled because their discharges were involuntary. At a hearing today, the judge scolded the Justice lawyers, "Your timing is exquisite--two days after the policy goes into effect eliminating `don't ask, don't tell,' here we are," according to the Associated Press. The AP's Nedra Pickler points out, "The administration is not defending the merits of the policy. Instead, Justice Department lawyer L. Misha Preheim argued the defense secretary has sole discretion to decide who gets what separation pay and the court cannot rewrite military regulations." Still, you can't argue with Judge Miller's take: "I would consider this to be an unenviable argument to have at this time."
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