Supreme Court Allows Trump Administration to Enforce Transgender Military Ban BY
The Supreme Court has allowed the Trump administration to enforce its policy to restrict transgender people from serving in the military nationwide, while several lower court challenges continue.
The court granted the Justice department’s request on Jan. 22, to reverse the orders (pdf) made in the lower courts to block the Pentagon from proceeding with the ban. The justices split 5-4 based on ideological lines with the court’s five conservatives, including Justice Brett Kavanaugh, greenlighting Trump’s plan while its four liberal members—Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan—objected to allowing the ban to go ahead.
Although the court has allowed the ban to take effect, it rejected the department’s request to hear oral arguments for now, which means the cases will continue to move through the appeal and lower courts. The high court’s ruling does not decide on whether the policy is legal or if President Donald Trump has the authority to issue the ban.
Transgender Military Ban
Transgender service members were previously banned from the military until former President Barack Obama lifted the ban in 2016. Obama’s policy allowed transgender individuals already serving in the military to serve openly and also allowed transgender individuals who meet the physical, medical, and other standards to enlist from July 1, 2017. Besides allowing transgender people to serve, the military was also ordered to pay for the medical costs incurred for hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery.
But after President Trump took office, the administration delayed the enlistment date, saying the issue needed further study. While that study was ongoing, the president tweeted in late July 2017, that the government would not allow “Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,” President Trump tweeted on July 26, 2017.