Vikram Amar, a University of California Davis law professor, agreed that the judge's authority extends only to the plaintiffs in this specific case, not to the entire nation. "'The 'don't ask, don't tell' case was not certified as a class action," Amar said. Most federal appellate courts have said that a judge cannot issue a ruling that goes well beyond the parties who brought the suit.
According to Time Magazine:
It's a box Obama finds himself in more and more often when it comes to gay rights issues. Even as U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips was issuing her worldwide injunction to the military Tuesday, the Administration filed notice it will appeal a federal ruling in Massachusetts that earlier this year struck down another law that is anathema to gay rights supporters, the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. In its filing, the Administration called the law unfair, and said it ought never to have been passed, but nevertheless argued it does not violate the Constitution. That prompted gay bloggers and others to cry foul, warning that their patience with Obama, who most argue has yet to keep his promises to gay and lesbian supporters, is running out.
More than 12,500 people have been removed from the military since "don't ask, don't tell" went into effect, and investigations of service members believed to be gay or lesbian have been continuing.
Pentagon officials said Wednesday they had not received any guidance on whether to continue with pending cases, though Pentagon attorneys were studying that issue.