Court Rules Against Trump’s Ban On Transgender People In The Military

Published on July 18, 2018 by Athena Pallas

An appeals court just handed the Trump administration its latest defeat, upholding a lower court ruling that blocked the implementation of Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military. As a result of this ruling, transgender people will be able to continue to enlist in the military and continue on with their existing service as well.

Following the lower court ruling last December, pending this appeal the Trump administration sought a stay of the ruling, so that they could start to put the ban in place, but the ruling today also struck that down. According to The Hill:

An appeals court on Wednesday ruled against the Trump administration and upheld a court order stalling a ban on transgender individuals serving in the military. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit blocked implementation of the ban, which was first announced by President Trump last year. The court’s move enables transgender people to continue enlisting in the military. The administration had filed a motion to stay the preliminary injunction granted by a lower court in December 2017. The 9th Circuit ruling holds that the stay requested by the administration “would upend, rather than preserve, the status quo,” which currently allows transgender people to serve.

President Trump first announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military “in any capacity” in July of last year, using 3 tweets to make the announcement, writing, “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or 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. Thank you.”

In March the White House rolled out a somewhat modified version of the ban, released via a memo instead of Twitter this time, reading in part, according to The Hill, “transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria – individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery – are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances.” The Trump administration likely hoped this new version would better survive the many court challenges the ban has faced. However, as today’s ruling shows, that is not the case – the implementation of Trump’s ban of transgender people from the military has been blocked. It remains to be seen if the Trump administration will further appeal this decision, but for now at least Trump’s attempted ban has been thwarted.

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