Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Supreme Court Supports Trump Ban on Transgenders in Military

The Supreme Court, breaking along ideological lines, on Tuesday allowed the Pentagon to move ahead with a plan to limit transgender people from serving in the military while lawsuits contesting the policy work their way through the courts.
The high court in a 5-4 decision removed injunctions imposed by lower courts that blocked the plan.
The five conservative justices – Chief Justice John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and President Trump appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh – moved to lift the injunctions.
The court’s liberal wing – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer – would have kept them in place.
The court decided not to take up the plan itself, as the Trump administration had wanted, opting instead to allow lower courts to hear the legal battle.
Lambda Legal, which focuses on gay and transgender issues, said it will redouble its efforts to fight the policy.
“For 30+ months, #transgender troops have been serving our country openly with valor and distinction. Now the rug has been ripped out from under them, once again,” the group said in a tweet.

President Trump first unveiled the change in policy in a tweet in July 2017 because he said transgender service members pose a threat to national security, declaring the US government “will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
It reversed President Obama’s 2016 policy that allowed transgender men and women already serving in the military to do so openly.
A number of advocacy groups and lawyers for active-duty transgender military personnel sued to stop the policy from taking effect and courts imposed nationwide injunctions.
The administration’s policy – made official by former Defense Secretary James Mattis – bars transgender people from being in the military unless they serve “in their biological sex” and do not attempt to seek surgery for a gender transition.

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