SAN FRANCISCO -- For the second time in as many days, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a Pasco soldier's challenge to the military's "stop-loss" policy that extends enlistments during war.
The entire panel of the San Francisco-based court yesterday declined to hear a motion for an injunction by Sgt. Emiliano Santiago to keep him from being sent to Afghanistan. On Wednesday, a three-member court panel in Seattle denied his appeal seeking release from the Army.
Santiago, 27, a refueler with the Oregon National Guard's 113th Aviation Battalion, is challenging the military's "stop-loss" policy that extended his eight-year enlistment.
Santiago signed up in 1996 at age 18 while a junior in high school, and expected to be released June 27, 2004. He was retained, however, under Defense Department rules that allow the president to extend enlistments during war and national emergencies. The policy already affects thousands of U.S. soldiers who serve in Iraq and Afghanistan after having fulfilled original enlistment terms.
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES