Federal court blocks Trump's military trans ban

Lester Mason
November 22, 2017

President Trump surprised the nation on the morning of July 26 when he announced on Twitter he was banning transgender people from serving "in any capacity" in the military.

U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis of Baltimore is the second judge to issue an injunction blocking the ban, report the Washington Post, the Washington Times and Reuters.

Garbis's ruling prevents the government from denying funding for sex reassignment surgeries.

"The lack of any justification for the abrupt policy change, combined with the discriminatory impact to a group of our military service members who have served our country capably and honorably, can not possibly constitute a legitimate governmental interest", Garbis wrote in the November 21 order (PDF).

The ruling features screen grabs of Trump's tweets and states these "did not emerge from a policy review, nor did the Presidential Memorandum identify any policymaking process or evidence demonstrating that the revocation of transgender rights was necessary for any legitimate national interest".

Even though U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington had already put the broad outlines of the proposal on hold in late October, her decision did not explicitly rule on whether the administration could stop paying for sex-reassignment surgeries. Eighteen other countries allow transgender troops to serve.

The two judges' decisions come after several service members - represented by the American Civil Liberties Union - filed a lawsuit in August in the belief that the ban violated their constitutional rights to due process and equal protection. "The court agreed with the legal analysis in Doe v. Trump, which enjoined the ban in October, and held that President Trump's ban violates the requirement of equal protection, causes serious harms both to our nation's military and to transgender people, and serve no legitimate goal whatsoever". "Based on the circumstances surrounding the President's announcement and the departure from normal procedure, the Court agrees with the D.C. Court that there is sufficient support for Plaintiffs" claims that "the decision to exclude transgender individuals was not driven by genuine concerns regarding military efficacy'".

The case is Stone v. Trump.

Estimates vary widely about the number of transgender military members.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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