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Judge: Reinstate Nurse Kicked Out Of Air Force Because Of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Margaret Witt

Margaret Witt, outside the federal courthouse in Tacoma, Washington. Ted S. Warren/AP Photo hide caption

itoggle caption Ted S. Warren/AP Photo

A federal judge in Washington has ruled that an Air Force nurse who was kicked out of the military for being gay should get her job back, NPR's Rachel Martin reports.

After her commanders learned she was engaged in a romantic relationship with a woman, Maj. Margaret Witt was expelled from the military in 2004.

The case, Witt v. Department of the Air Force, questions the constitutionality of the military's controversial don't ask, don't tell policy.

After years of courtroom battles, Judge Ronald B. Leighton has ruled that the Air Force violated her rights when it fired her. He said there was no evidence that Witt's homosexuality impeded military goals or cohesion in any way, and that she should be reinstated to her position as soon as possible.

According to Martin, he went on to say that the courts are not the appropriate venue to decide whether or not gays should be able to serve openly in the military.

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