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On the argument that if Congress is to be overridden on a major military regulation, it ought to be the highest court that decides, Mr. Belkin said: “They’re ignoring 230 years of legal precedent. The federal courts have the final say on the constitutionality of law and policy, period. There’s nothing that says, ‘Oh, only the Supreme Court has the final word.’ The federal courts have the final word.”

There is now a two-track debate.

Judge Phillips order to end the ban is being appealed by the Justice Department.

On the other track, Mr. Obama’s legislation to repeal the 1993 law is stalled in the Senate, where Republicans refused to allow the defense bill containing the legislation to reach the floor for debate.

After elections next week, Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat, will try again to bring the bill to the floor.

Analysts say two questions remain in the debate: Will Mr. Levin be able to peel away enough GOP votes to win passage? Or will a Pentagon study on gay integration, scheduled to be completed in December, change how senators vote and lead to the defeat of the measure?