The Supreme Court on Tuesday– by a 5-4 vote– has granted the Trump administration’s demand to start enforcing a ban, with some exceptions, on transgender military service members while legal appeals continue.
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data-alert=” SCOTUS” data-alert-display=” Supreme Court “>Include Interest The move, which is short-lived, reverses a lower court order that had put the policy on hold. The court said Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan would have rejected the demand to remain the lower court’s order.
Separately, the court declined the administration’s request for an accelerated review of the concern before lower appellate courts have weighed in.
Officials said the decision has no instant result because one nationwide injunction versus the ban stays in place. But if a judge raises that injunction, as anticipated, the Pentagon might quickly choose to begin carrying out the partial restriction on transgender soldiers as the appeals procedure in the lower courts continues.
“The Department is pleased with the orders released by the Supreme Court today,” Department of Defense representative Lt. Col. Carla Gleason said in a declaration. “We will continue to deal with the Department of Justice regarding next actions in the pending claims. As constantly, we deal with all transgender persons with regard and self-respect. DoD’s proposed policy is NOT a restriction on service by transgender individuals. It is critical that DoD be allowed to implement workers policies that it determines are required to guarantee the most lethal and combat efficient battling force in the world. DoD’s proposed policy is based on professional military judgment and will guarantee that the U.S. Armed Forces remain the most lethal and combat effective battling force in the world.”
most transgender soldiers, yet last policy rests in courts) Supporters estimate more than 15,000 transgender Americans are presently serving in the U.S. military which more than 134,000 are veterans. But a memo from then-Defense Secretary James Mattis’ last February memo mentioned 8,980 service members who identify as transgender, “and yet there are currently just 937 active service Service members who have actually been identified with gender dysphoria since June 30, 2016.”
In 2017, President Donald Trump tweeted that he would no longer “accept or enable” transgender people to serve in the military, prompting the Pentagon to rush to revise its policy and setting off legal obstacles from critics who called the move inequitable and unconstitutional. The restriction up until now has never ever taken impact.
“>Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA by means of Shutterstock President Donald Trump speaks with the media about Syria, Nancy Pelosi, and his proposed border wall as he leaves the White House for Dover Flying Force Base on the South Yard of the White Home in Washington, D.C., Jan. 2019. In a March memorandum, Trump concurred with the policy recommendations of then-Defense Secretary James Mattis that transgender people “with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria” are not able to serve except under limited scenarios. That policy was constrained by existing court orders that blocked earlier efforts to ban transgender troops.
“For more than 30 months, transgender troops have been serving our nation freely with valor and difference, however now the rug has actually been removed from under them, as soon as again,” stated Lambda Legal Counsel Peter Renn. “We will redouble our efforts to send this prejudiced ban to the garbage load of history where it belongs.”
The Justice Department pledged to keep protecting the Trump policy in the courts.
“We are pleased the Supreme Court granted stays in these cases, clearing the way for the policy to go into impact while lawsuits continues. The Department of Defense has the authority to create and carry out personnel policies it has determined are needed to finest safeguard our nation,” DOJ representative Kerri Kupec stated in a statement.
“Due to lower courts releasing across the country injunctions, our armed force had actually been forced to keep a prior policy that presents a threat to military effectiveness and lethality for over a year. We will continue to protect in the courts the authority and ability of the Pentagon to guarantee the security and security of the American individuals,” the DOJ declaration continued.
ABC News’ Jack Date added to this story.