The theory by propounded by haters of "judicial activism" is that America's political arguments are best settled in a political -- not legal -- arena. Judges should defer to Congress, the thinking goes, because Congress is elected by the citizenry, and thanks to elections every couple of years, is accountable to that citizenry.
But: It's clear that overwhelming majority of Americans favor a repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell." And a nearly overwhelming majority of the Senate does so, as well: 57 Senators voted today for cloture on a bill that would repeal DADT. These aren't close numbers in either case. Yet there will be no repeal of DADT. Procedures.
Meanwhile, a case against the law sits in front of the U.S. Court of Appeals -- slowed down, apparently, to allow the political process to take the lead. I hope the case now goes forward with all due speed. And I hope the courts affirm the decision that DADT is unconstitutional.
This will surely bring more cries of "judicial activism" from the right, if it happens. But who cares? If the political arena can't be responsive not only to the wishes of a large majority of the citizens, but a large majority of its own members, what good is it? There's a plausible argument to be made that DADT is unconstitutional; the courts should feel free to act on that argument. They'll be hewing closer to the wishes of the citizenry than the political branches.