Don´t ask, don´t tell: En undersøgelse af udvælgelsen af dommere i USA og Danmark

Nena Sue Hansen

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


Don't Ask, Don't Tell - A survey on the selection of judges in USA and Denmark In the 1992 presidential campaign, Bill Clinton promised that if elected he would lift the existing ban on homosexuals in the U.S. military. The proposal was controversial and opposed by many politicians and military leaders, who thought that homosexuals posed a threat to the military's high standard of morale, good order, and discipline and unit cohesion. The result of Clinton's efforts to lift the ban was the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law. Homosexual soldiers would be discharged from military service if they stated that they were homosexual or bisexual, or participated in homosexual conduct. From 1993-2011 thousands of soldiers have been accused for homosexuality and discharged from the military. During this period, many discharged soldiers challenged the law in federal courts, claiming that the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law was unconstitutional under several amendments, among others, freedom of speech. The selection of federal judges in USA has played an important role in the many lawsuits brought by homosexual soldiers, as it is the president who, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoints and selects judges to the federal courts. The selection method gives the president the power to control, which policy preferences should be represented at the federal courts. By determining the view on homosexuality in the light of Christianity, medical science and psychiatry and by using the Attitudinal Model and selection strategies, I determine which factors result in a policy preference judgement, and which consequences the selection of judges in USA has had for the homosexual soldiers, who tried to challenge the constitutionality of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law. This thesis provides a discussion of the factors influencing the judicial outcome in cases involving the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law. In a case study of six cases about the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law, I look at the decisions by judges in American district and appellate courts, and compare the judge's decisions with the policy preferences of their nominating president. Because of national military service in the Danish defence force, an exclusionary policy of homosexuals has never existed, which also means, that there are no lawsuits in Denmark, which are comparable to the Don't Ask, Don't Tell cases. Consequently, I only compare the selection method of judges in USA and Denmark, in order to determine the differences and relate them to homosexuality in general. Furthermore, I compare the political position on homosexuality in USA and Denmark, and decide how these positions have echoed in the American and Danish society. The results of the survey show, that the selection method of judges in USA has had a great significance on the judge's decisions in Don't Ask, Don't Tell cases, and that the American judicial branch is influenced by presidents' policy preferences. Furthermore, the survey result shows that the selection method of judges in Denmark is solely based on judges' competencies and experience and that no political actors are involved in the selection.

UddannelserCand.ling.merc Erhvervssprog og International Erhvervskommunikation (Interkulturel Marketing), (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
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