Maj. Margaret Witt, a veteran Air Force nurse with a distinguished service record, will appear to argue that the Air Force violated her rights and must reinstate her.
If she wins she would be the first woman allowed to serve openly as a lesbian since President Clinton's administration in 1993 created the DADT policy.
The law, however, would not apply to other members of the armed forces.
Her case begins just four days after a California case brought by the Log Cabin Republicans, a political group supporting equal rights for gays and lesbians, resulted in a federal judge's decision that the military's "don't ask don't tell policy" is unconstitutional.
Joel Connelly, staff writer for SeattlePI.com, recalls the case of Col. Margaret Cammermeyer 20 years ago, and writes that a forefather of modern Republican conservatism "Sen. Barry Goldwater, defined what our military's policy on sexual orientation ought to be: "You don't have to be straight to fight for your country. You just have to shoot straight."
The New York Times on Sunday reported that "Major Witt’s case has already set an important precedent. After a federal judge dismissed her lawsuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reinstated it, ruling in 2008 that the government had to meet a higher standard of scrutiny before intruding on her private life. The panel sent her case back to the district court for trial."
I covered her initial challenge in 2006 when I was a newspaper reporter covering the military for the now departed Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper.
Witt never violated Dont' Ask, Don't Tell herself, indeed she went out of her way not to be asked and not to tell.
Yet she was outed by the jilted husband of a woman she was seeing in 2004 who advised Air Force officials she was a lesbian. from which the Air Force launched the investigation that resulted in her dismissal.