The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) announced that they will allow President Trump’s Transgender Military Ban to take effect as of Tuesday, January 22, 2019.
According to CNN, the SCOTUS announcement wasn’t a final verdict on the merits of the issue but rather a temporary go ahead while the lower courts proceedings in the matter are decided.
“Today’s dual rulings on the transgender ban allow the controversial policy to go into effect for now, but also allow the appeals to go forward in the lower courts,” said Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analysis and professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law.
The four liberal judges on the court voted against the decision but that wasn’t enough to stop the action of the conservative majority court. It’s also not looking good in the long run if and when the SCOTUS actually decides to weigh in on the merits of the issue as explained by CNN.
“The government had asked the Justices to take the issue up even before the appeals courts could rule. Even though the Court denied that request, the fact that the Court is allowing the policy to go into effect suggests not only that it will eventually take the case on the merits, but also that five of the Justices believe the government is likely to prevail if and when that happens,” Vladeck said.
What little comfort if any, the Pentagon released a statement to CNN providing their stance on the controversial announcement.
“As always, we treat all transgender persons with respect and dignity. DoD’s proposed policy is NOT a ban on service by transgender persons. It is critical that DoD be permitted to implement personnel policies that it determines are necessary to ensure the most lethal and combat effective fighting force in the world. DoD’s proposed policy is based on professional military judgment and will ensure that the U.S. Armed Forces remain the most lethal and combat effective fighting force in the world,” Lt. Col. Carla Gleason, a Pentagon spokesperson, told CNN
What LGBTQI activists and advocacy organizations consider to be a discriminative and egregious move, President Trump’s ban on transgenders in the military is uniquely worded to cast a cloud of repudiation and shame.
The policy, first announced by the President in July 2017 via Twitter, and later officially released by then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis in 2018, blocks individuals who have been diagnosed with a condition known as gender dysphoria from serving with limited exceptions. It also specifies that individuals without the condition can serve, but only if they do so according to the sex they were assigned at birth.
CNN has laid out why the case is moving a quick pace then what is normally seen by the high court.
In December, the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to allow the ban on transgender people in the military to go into effect pending appeal after the lower courts froze the ban.
When the administration first asked the high court to take up the case last month, Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued that lower court rulings imposing nationwide injunctions are wrong and warrant immediate review.
The petitions he filed asked the justices to take up the issue in three separate cases that are still in lower courts so it could be decided definitively this term.
He wrote that because of the injunctions, “the military has been forced to maintain that prior policy for nearly a year” despite a determination by Mattis and a panel of experts that the “prior policy, adopted by (Defense Secretary Ash Carter), posed too great a risk to military effectiveness and lethality.”
Under normal circumstances, the Supreme Court does not like to take up an issue before it has made its way through the lower courts. The justices like to have issues percolate below so that they can benefit from the opinions of lower court judges.
Francisco has moved aggressively at times to get cases before a Supreme Court that is more solidly conservative with the addition of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. In one such case, Francisco recently asked the court for emergency help to let the administration’s asylum ban go into effect.
Click here to read previous reports from 2018 on the Transgender Military Ban. https://kwirmedia.com/lgbt-organizations-fight-another-trump-transgender-military-ban-push/