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Judge to Rule Friday on Witt Case

Judge to Rule Friday on Witt Case


A U.S. district court judge is scheduled to rule Friday on whether the Air Force Reserves should reinstate Maj. Margaret Witt to her position after she was discharged under "don't ask, don't tell," the Associated Press reports.

U.S. district judge Ronald B. Leighton rejected former Witt's claim that her rights were violated when she was discharged under "don't ask, don't tell" in 2006. Two years later, an appeals court rejected his ruling, sending the case back to Leighton. The appeal said the military can't use sexual orientation for grounds for firing unless it can prove the dismissal was necessary to further military goals. Leighton must now evaluate whether Witt's firing was valid on those grounds.

Witt, a decorated flight nurse, testified during the six-day trial in Tacoma, Wash.

"It's what I've spent over half my life training to do," she said of her job. "I miss being able to be the one that that soldier looks at and I can do something for him. I'm not complete, and it kills me to not be there."

Witt's trial closed as the U.S. Senate failed to advance a bill containing language that would have repealed "don't ask, don't tell."

In California, U.S. district judge Virginia Phillips found the law unconstitutional earlier this month, ruling on a challenge filed by the Log Cabin Republicans. The Department of Justice is expected to issue a reaction document to Log Cabin's request for an injunction that would temporarily stop the discharge of gay and lesbian troops under the policy.

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