Supreme Court takes action on trans military ban

Around the Country: Ruling will likely be temporarily stymied by lower courts in Maryland, Washington and California

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court announced today it would offer a temporary uphold of current U.S. president Donald Trump’s requested policy of a ban on transgender individuals serving in the military while lower courts continue to debate the case.

Although the current presidential administration had urgently requested the court to review the legality of the case, they declined to do so.

Of the nine members who currently serve on U.S. Supreme Court, four voted against supporting the ban (Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan), while the five others (Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh) voted in support of Trump’s discriminatory policy.

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Trump initially announced his opposition to the service of transgender military personnel via Twitter in July 2017. The policy has been modified since that time, no longer blocking all transgender individuals, but those who have been diagnosed with “gender dysphoria” from serving with limited exceptions. It specifies that transgender individuals without the “condition” can serve if they are living and serving in the military in the same gender they were recognized as at birth.

Additionally, those individuals must prove their claim retroactively for three years.

Not surprisingly, this countermanded the Department of Defense’s policy created under President Barack Obama, which reads as follows: “… transgender Service members may serve openly, and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military solely for being transgender individuals.”

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Despite the court’s decision, the ruling will likely have no immediate impact on transgender individuals currently serving in the armed forces until decisions are reached on pending decisions from Ninth Circuit courts (California and Washington State) and a federal judge in Baltimore, Md.

The ACLU’s senior attorney Joshua Block spoke to CNN regarding the decision.

“What the White House has released … is transphobia masquerading as policy. This policy is not based on an evaluation of new evidence. It is reverse-engineered for the sole purpose of carrying out President Trump’s reckless and unconstitutional ban, undermining the ability of transgender service members to serve openly and military readiness as a whole.”

Trump’s actions on this issue are also in keeping with two constants throughout his tenure in office: erasing all accomplishments by President Obama, and paying lip service to his far-right wing group of supporters.

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Posted by David Aaron Moore

David Aaron Moore is a former editor of QNotes, serving in the role from 2003 to 2007. He is currently a contributing writer for QNotes. Moore is a native of North Carolina and the author of "Charlotte: Murder, Mystery and Mayhem" from History Press. Moore has worked for several mainstream and LGBTQ publications as editor, staff writer, contributor and freelancer.