Steffan v. Cheney
United States District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit
920 F.2d 74 (D.C. Cir. 1990)
Steffan (plaintiff) was a student at the United States Naval Academy and made statements identifying himself as a homosexual to a superior prior to his impending graduation. Though he was not charged with homosexual conduct, the Academy recommended that he be discharged, and Steffan resigned. Steffan brought suit alleging constructive discharge and challenging the constitutionality of the regulation providing for the discharge of homosexuals. During deposition, Steffan refused to answer questions of whether he had engaged in homosexual conduct and refused to answer questions unrelated to the legality of his separation. The district court dismissed Steffan’s action for failure to comply with its discovery order, and Steffan appealed, naming Cheney (defendant), then Secretary of Defense.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per Curiam)