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This article explores the validity of the "don't ask, don't tell" compromise under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Regardless of the fact that any version of the policy is less restrictive than the military's former complete ban, the "don't ask, don't tell" compromise actually opens the door to constitutional challenges that were largely unsuccessful in the past. Consequently, the tremendous effort spent to reach apolitically-palatable compromise may in fact destroy the deference that the military traditionally has enjoyed from the courts. The current effort simply to loosen the ban may lead, therefore, to its complete invalidation.



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