SF School Board Hits the Wrong Target

The San Francisco Board of Education has voted to phase out and ban Junior ROTC, sparking a nationwide uproar. The excuse for denying 1,600 students the opportunity to voluntarily participate is what is commonly called 'the Pentagon's Don't Ask/Don't Tell Policy'regarding gays in the military.

But the School Board betrays a faulty understanding of our constitutional system of government. If it was acting on principle rather than outright hatred of the military, a more proper target, responsible for the policy it cites would be Nancy Pelosi, the city's representative in Congress, and the presumptive next Speaker of the House.

The US military is subject to civilian control and authority, and we all know it. The military has no say either in adopting the policy or changing it.

The Don't Ask/Don't Tell controversy began early in the first Clinton Administration, after candidate Clinton had promised that if elected he would lift any barriers to homosexuals serving in the Armed Forces. In late 1993, as part of 'The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994', US Code Title 10, Subtitle G, Section 654 (Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces) was included by the then Democratic controlled Congress in the overall bill.

There was opposition to including that policy in the appropriations bill in the form of the Meehan Amendment. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi said during debate,

"Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Massachusetts, [Mr. Meehan] and a bipartisan group of our colleagues which would strike the bill's provision regarding lesbians and gay men in the military, because clearly, this issue is best left to our President and the Department of Defense..."

The Meehan amendment failed. 157 Congressional Democrats like Pelosi supported it, and 101 Democrats voted against it, and it failed 264—169 overall. That led to what is commonplace in lawmaking, especially large appropriations bills, wherein members have to vote for or against the entire bill, even the individual parts they may oppose.

When that 1994 Defence appropriation bill was passed, it received 235 Demcoratic votes in Congress in support, including that of Nancy Pelosi, and only 25 Democrats opposed it. President Clinton then signed the bill into law.

With the Meehan amendment, Democrats like Pelosi tried to deflect the issue to the Pentagon and the President alone. That failed. As such, what is commonly called the Pentagon's or the military's 'Don't Ask/Don't Tell' policy is the military acting in accord with and subject to the laws of the country passed by the civilians in the Legislature and signed into law by the President!

That is why this is so transparently and sickening a display of gross animus aginst our military and the soldiers who defend us while following civilian rule! Nancy Pelosi voted for the Federal Law to which the 'Don't Ask/Don't Tell' policy seeks to conform.

"US Code Title 10, Subtitle G, Section 654:

Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces

Section 571(b)—(d) of Pub. L. 103—160 provided that:

''(b) Regulations. — Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act (Nov. 30, 1993), the Secretary of Defense shall revise Department of Defense regulations, and issue such new regulations as may be necessary, to implement section 654 of title10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a).

And conform to that Federal Law it does. There have been nine cases brought to the Federal Courts contesting the 'Don't Ask/Don't Tell' policy. Every one of those cases presented the opportunity for the Court to strike down the policy as either unconstitutional or in opposition to the intent of the Legislature that drafted the law that the policy sought to conform to — and in all nine cases the challenge failed!

Last April, in that ninth case, in the Federal District Court in Boston, the Court ruled that Congress is the appropriate outlet for ending the ban if that is desired, not the Court! That also means the Pentagon cannot make the change, because the Pentagon is subject to the laws passed by Congress!

ROTC instructors and military recruiters on campuses do not set and establish military policy. Yet those are the folks that anti—military leftists scorn and abuse as those who give us discrimination!

Does anyone believe that the San Francisco Board of Education would not allow Speaker Nancy Pelosi to address one of their High Schools on the ground of her vote for the legislation setting up DA/DT? Would they bar Bill Clinton, who signed the law, from speaking?

Yet they will deny JROTC to 1,600 students who want to participate in it, supposedly out of principle!

Last March, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous 8—0 ruling (Alito abstaining) in Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, Inc. The case was brought by FAIR (Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights) over universities risking loss of federal funding for refusing to allow military recruiters on campus, pursuant to the 1996 Solomon Amendment. A consortium of law schools, including Harvard and Yale, protested that if they were to lose federal funding because they barred military recruiters from campus that would violate their free speech rights.

They lost. It must take some effort in lunacy to have the entire Court from Stevens and Ginsburg to Scalia and Thomas think your position is a crock. Yet we can be assured that if we searched, we would not find those schools barring President Clinton who signed the law, Attorney General Reno who defended it (http://dont.stanford.edu/regulations/RenoMemo.htm) or countless Democratic Senators and Congressmen who voted for it from speaking on their campuses.

Congresswoman Pelosi: As you may shortly be third in line of succession as Commander in Chief of our armed forces, could you please take a moment to inform some of your constituents back home in San Francisco that our military is subordinate to civilian rule, and that punishing them for adhering to law that you and the Congress passed and a Democratic Presdient signed is inappropriate?

Denis Keohane is an occasional contributor to American Thinker.

The San Francisco Board of Education has voted to phase out and ban Junior ROTC, sparking a nationwide uproar. The excuse for denying 1,600 students the opportunity to voluntarily participate is what is commonly called 'the Pentagon's Don't Ask/Don't Tell Policy'regarding gays in the military.

But the School Board betrays a faulty understanding of our constitutional system of government. If it was acting on principle rather than outright hatred of the military, a more proper target, responsible for the policy it cites would be Nancy Pelosi, the city's representative in Congress, and the presumptive next Speaker of the House.

The US military is subject to civilian control and authority, and we all know it. The military has no say either in adopting the policy or changing it.

The Don't Ask/Don't Tell controversy began early in the first Clinton Administration, after candidate Clinton had promised that if elected he would lift any barriers to homosexuals serving in the Armed Forces. In late 1993, as part of 'The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994', US Code Title 10, Subtitle G, Section 654 (Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces) was included by the then Democratic controlled Congress in the overall bill.

There was opposition to including that policy in the appropriations bill in the form of the Meehan Amendment. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi said during debate,

"Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Massachusetts, [Mr. Meehan] and a bipartisan group of our colleagues which would strike the bill's provision regarding lesbians and gay men in the military, because clearly, this issue is best left to our President and the Department of Defense..."

The Meehan amendment failed. 157 Congressional Democrats like Pelosi supported it, and 101 Democrats voted against it, and it failed 264—169 overall. That led to what is commonplace in lawmaking, especially large appropriations bills, wherein members have to vote for or against the entire bill, even the individual parts they may oppose.

When that 1994 Defence appropriation bill was passed, it received 235 Demcoratic votes in Congress in support, including that of Nancy Pelosi, and only 25 Democrats opposed it. President Clinton then signed the bill into law.

With the Meehan amendment, Democrats like Pelosi tried to deflect the issue to the Pentagon and the President alone. That failed. As such, what is commonly called the Pentagon's or the military's 'Don't Ask/Don't Tell' policy is the military acting in accord with and subject to the laws of the country passed by the civilians in the Legislature and signed into law by the President!

That is why this is so transparently and sickening a display of gross animus aginst our military and the soldiers who defend us while following civilian rule! Nancy Pelosi voted for the Federal Law to which the 'Don't Ask/Don't Tell' policy seeks to conform.

"US Code Title 10, Subtitle G, Section 654:

Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces

Section 571(b)—(d) of Pub. L. 103—160 provided that:

''(b) Regulations. — Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act (Nov. 30, 1993), the Secretary of Defense shall revise Department of Defense regulations, and issue such new regulations as may be necessary, to implement section 654 of title10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a).

And conform to that Federal Law it does. There have been nine cases brought to the Federal Courts contesting the 'Don't Ask/Don't Tell' policy. Every one of those cases presented the opportunity for the Court to strike down the policy as either unconstitutional or in opposition to the intent of the Legislature that drafted the law that the policy sought to conform to — and in all nine cases the challenge failed!

Last April, in that ninth case, in the Federal District Court in Boston, the Court ruled that Congress is the appropriate outlet for ending the ban if that is desired, not the Court! That also means the Pentagon cannot make the change, because the Pentagon is subject to the laws passed by Congress!

ROTC instructors and military recruiters on campuses do not set and establish military policy. Yet those are the folks that anti—military leftists scorn and abuse as those who give us discrimination!

Does anyone believe that the San Francisco Board of Education would not allow Speaker Nancy Pelosi to address one of their High Schools on the ground of her vote for the legislation setting up DA/DT? Would they bar Bill Clinton, who signed the law, from speaking?

Yet they will deny JROTC to 1,600 students who want to participate in it, supposedly out of principle!

Last March, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous 8—0 ruling (Alito abstaining) in Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, Inc. The case was brought by FAIR (Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights) over universities risking loss of federal funding for refusing to allow military recruiters on campus, pursuant to the 1996 Solomon Amendment. A consortium of law schools, including Harvard and Yale, protested that if they were to lose federal funding because they barred military recruiters from campus that would violate their free speech rights.

They lost. It must take some effort in lunacy to have the entire Court from Stevens and Ginsburg to Scalia and Thomas think your position is a crock. Yet we can be assured that if we searched, we would not find those schools barring President Clinton who signed the law, Attorney General Reno who defended it (http://dont.stanford.edu/regulations/RenoMemo.htm) or countless Democratic Senators and Congressmen who voted for it from speaking on their campuses.

Congresswoman Pelosi: As you may shortly be third in line of succession as Commander in Chief of our armed forces, could you please take a moment to inform some of your constituents back home in San Francisco that our military is subordinate to civilian rule, and that punishing them for adhering to law that you and the Congress passed and a Democratic Presdient signed is inappropriate?

Denis Keohane is an occasional contributor to American Thinker.