New development from Associated Press:
A federal judge issued a worldwide injunction Tuesday stopping enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, ending the U.S. military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops.
U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips' landmark ruling was widely cheered by gay rights organizations that credited her with getting accomplished what President Obama and Washington politics could not.
U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say they are under no legal obligation to do so and could let Phillips' ruling stand.
The federal government is reviewing the ruling and has no immediate comment, said Tracy Schmaler, spokesman for the Department of Justice.
Phillips declared the law unconstitutional after a two-week nonjury trial in federal court in Riverside and said she would issue a nationwide injunction. But she asked first for input from Department of Justice attorneys and the Log Cabin Republicans, the gay rights group that filed the lawsuit in 2004 to stop the ban's enforcement.
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