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Entries in Gary Stein (2)

Thursday
Apr262012

Attorneys Will Continue to Fight Dismissal of Marine Critical of Obama

(SAN DIEGO) -- Civilian lawyers for the Marine sergeant discharged Wednesday for posting critical comments about President Obama on Facebook say they will continue to fight his dismissal in civilian courts.

On Wednesday, Sergeant Gary Stein was given an “other than honorable” discharge from the Marine Corps for disparaging comments that included labeling President Obama an enemy.

The Marines said the comments by the nine-year veteran were detrimental to good order and discipline and violated military law.  Because of the “other than honorable” discharge, Stein will be demoted to lance corporal and be ineligible for most federal veterans benefits.

The conservative U.S. Justice Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union say they will continue to fight Stein’s dismissal in federal courts.

They believe the Marine Corps overreached its authority and violated Stein’s First Amendment rights to free speech.  Earlier this month, a federal judge denied their request for a temporary restraining order to block Stein’s dismissal.

Gary Kreep of the U.S. Justice Foundation told ABC News that, once Stein has transitioned out of the Marine Corps in a few weeks, “we’ll be amending the complaint to reflect a request for relief for his reinstatement to the Marine Corps. ”

A spokesperson for the ACLU confirmed that the organization would continue to try and block Stein’s discharge through the federal courts.

Kreep said his organization is committed to taking Stein’s case all the way to the Supreme Court if that’s what he wants.

Stein expressed his disappointment about his discharge on his Facebook page. "I have spent the last 9 years honorably serving this great nation and the Corps,” said Stein. “Even though I will be discharged no one can take the title of Marine away from me. I thank my family and friends for their support and love. Today is just the start of the rest of my life. Semper Fi.”

Kreep said Stein’s case has united groups from across the political spectrum because “free speech and due process rights are important.”  He added, "It shows people who disagree on a variety of issues can come together, and that’s what we’re doing."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr252012

Marine to Be Discharged over Anti-Obama Facebook Comment

Creatas/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) -- A conservative Marine who started an armed forces Tea Party Web page has been given an "other than honorable" discharge for misconduct after declaring on Facebook, "Screw Obama. I will not follow all orders from him."

Sgt. Gary Stein later clarified his remarks to say he wouldn't follow unlawful orders from the president and argued his online comments were protected by the First Amendment, ABC News San Diego affiliate KGTV reported.

In addition, he has expressed regret for his remark, at one point writing on Facebook, "The words that I used were tasteless and I could have articulated my point more clearly. I am man enough to admit my mistakes."

But Wednesday, Brig. Gen. Daniel Yoo, the commanding general for Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, nevertheless upheld an earlier decision by an administrative separation board to give Stein the "other than honorable" discharge, according to a news release by the Marines.

Stein, 26, based at Camp Pendleton, was put on notice of a possible violation of the Uniform Code of Justice last month after his Obama comment, KGTV reported. The military subsequently cited other anti-Obama comments in Stein's online postings.

On Wednesday, Stein acknowledged the discharge on his Facebook page.

"I have spent the last 9 years honorably serving this great nation and the Corps," Stein wrote. "Even though I will be discharged no one can take the title of Marine away from me. I thank my family and friends for their support and love. Today is just the start of the rest of my life. Semper Fi."

The manner of discharge will hit Stein in the wallet, according to the Marine statement.

"A Marine being separated as a result of adverse conduct can receive an other than honorable characterization of discharge if the basis for separation is the commission of a serious offense which is a significant departure from the conduct expected of a Marine," the statement read. "Marines administratively separated with an 'other than honorable' discharge are automatically reduced to pay grade E-3, to become effective upon separation."

The move is expected to mean Stein will not receive benefits following his nine years of military service. His contract with the Marines was scheduled to expire on July 28.

Stein tried to stop the tribunal's processes by filing a preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court in the Southern California District, but federal judge Marilyn Huff denied the request.

She told one of Stein's attorneys, "You understand it's a pretty sensitive comment that he made," adding, "He can't do that," KGTV reported.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio