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Political Representation And Accountability Under Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Tobias Barrington Wolff Jan 2004

Political Representation And Accountability Under Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Tobias Barrington Wolff

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The U.S. military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy constitutes a singular type of speech regulation: an explicit prohibition on identity speech by a defined population of individuals that mandates a state of complete social invisibility in both military and civilian life. The impact of such a regulation upon the public speech values protected by the First Amendment should not be difficult to apprehend. And yet, as the tenth anniversary of the policy approaches, First Amendment scholars have largely ignored this seemingly irresistible subject of study, and the federal courts have refused to engage with the policy's implications for public speech …