Trump-Pence shortcut to injustice: takes military trans ban to Supreme Court

Military Trans Ban


Military Trans Ban

The Trump-Pence administration Asks Supreme Court to Intervene Now and Implement the Transgender Military Ban—Even Though Four Federal Courts Have Blocked It

So why is the Trump-Pence administration trying to bypass the lower courts in what most consider an extremely unusual, legally ill-advised, badly timed move?

There are four lawsuits challenging his ban and things are not looking good for the Trump-Pence administration in each and every one of them. The ban built on transphobic foundations has little chance of surviving legal scrutiny. And due to gross incompetence in implementation, Trump’s term may very well expire before any or all of these cases are resolved.

Doe v. Trump

GLAD and NCLR filed the first lawsuit challenging President Trump’s directive to reinstate a ban on military service by transgender people on August 9, 2017.

  • The first to win a nationwide preliminary injunction against it.

Stockman v. Trump

  • GLAD and NCLR are co-counsel in Equality California‘s lawsuit challenging the transgender military ban, Stockman v. Trump. Equality California is a plaintiff in the suit together with seven individual plaintiffs who are currently serving or have taken steps to enlist. The state of California also joined the case as a plaintiff challenging the ban.
  • Court order injunction against Trump-Pense trans military ban upheld keeping the status quo in place allowing trans service members to serve and enlist. (1)

Karnoski v. Trump The Human Rights Campaign, and the Gender Justice League by Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN.

  • Injunction against the Trump-Pense trans military ban upheld (1)

Stone v. Trump The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland.

  • Preliminary injunction

    “President Trump’s tweets 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. […] Moreover, the Court finds that, based on the exhibits and declarations currently on the record, the Directives are unlikely to survive a rational review. 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, cannot possibly constitute a legitimate governmental interest.”

    — Judge Marvin J. Garbis, Nov 21 Memorandum and Order

By far the stay ordered by Justice Marvin J. Garbis is the most explicit. But he echoed the other judges who put a temporary hold on the Trump-Pence transgender military ban while the cases were resolved.

All four courts have ruled that the Trump-Pence administration has not responded sufficiently, or at all, to court orders compelling them to reveal empirical evidence contrary to the RAND study which found no reason to ban transgender people.
Lastly, Judge Kollar-Kotelly (Doe v. Trump) rejected the revised memorandum the Trump-Pense defense offered calling for a ‘limited ban’ noting that it was nothing more than a regurgitated smoke and mirror version of the original total ban.

Desperately frustrated with the justice system Trump tries to bully….

The filing comes after Chief Justice John Roberts and Trump got into a public dispute about the independence of the judiciary this week.  CNN reports that Roberts issued a rare statement on Wednesday criticizing the President for calling one lower court judge who ruled against him an “Obama judge.” The President responded via Twitter criticizing Roberts and accusing the American judiciary of undermining national security.

Under normal circumstances, the Supreme Court does not like to take up an issue before it has made its way through the lower courts. The justices like to have issues percolate below so that they can benefit from the opinions of lower court judges.

In my humble opinion regardless of how this ends up, in our favor or not, this is a test of our republic’s democratic foundation, one that our country has never seen before.
And ultimately the resolution to this crisis comes from within. VOTE.

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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender


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