Law: Uniform Treatment for Gays

The Army's ban is struck down, but an appeal is likely

Civil rights cases are among the thorniest faced by courts because they so often involve competing principles of social justice: protecting affirmative action for blacks vs. honoring seniority in the workplace; providing equal job access for women vs. giving civil service preference to veterans, who are mostly male. Striving for balance, while zigzagging through such moral thickets, often leads to apparently contradictory precedents. Having ruled for one side, the same court may find for the other the next time an issue comes up.

Last week a three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California dismayed the Reagan...

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