California federal Judge Virginia Phillips prefers to keep a low profile, and has for much of her career on the district court. But her ruling that "don't ask, don't tell" is unconstitutional and can't be enforced has propelled her to the front of the fight over gays in the military, earning her hero status with gays and lesbians and condemnation in conservative circles. Attorneys in her district insist that Phillips isn't an activist, and that she wasn't making any broader point with her highly publicized ruling.
'Don't Ask' Ruling Puts Judge in Spotlight
October 26, 2010