LGBT

Court Blocks Trump’s Transgender Service Ban. Again.

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Trump regime attempted to hoodwink the court by jettisoning the original transgender military service ban and issuing a new version with slightly different language several weeks ago, but the court isn't falling for it.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman has blocked the latest version of the ban and ruled that transgender Americans are a protected class of citizens which means the government must present extraordinary evidence to justify discriminating against them.

The problem for the Trump regime is they have no evidence at all

From the Huffington Post:

“The Court also rules that, because transgender people have long been subjected to systemic oppression and forced to live in silence, they are a protected class. Therefore, any attempt to exclude them from military service will be looked at with the highest level of care, and will be subject to the Court’s ‘strict scrutiny.’ This means that before Defendants can implement the Ban, they must show that it was sincerely motivated by compelling interests, rather than by prejudice or stereotype, and that it is narrowly tailored to achieve those interests,” Pechman wrote.

While Trump had tweeted that he consulted generals and military experts about the ban, Pechman wrote that the government had “failed to identify even one General or military expert he consulted, despite having been ordered to do so repeatedly.

It is highly unlikely that the Ninth District Court of Appeals will immediately disagree with the lower court ruling that transgender people are a protected class and lift the injunction against Trump's ban when an appeal inevitably lands in their court room.

This is far from over, but it's going to be quite a slog for Trump regime lawyers. I don't see a path to victory for them if they can't produce any evidence to support the ban nearly a year after it was first drafted. They've had a long time to come up with evidence to support it and the best they can do is claim that the presence of transgender soldiers harms combat readiness without proving that it does.

  • muselet

    Blocking the second ban on transgender servicemembers, which is effectively identical to the first, is reasonable and even inevitable in the face of the Trump administration’s utter lack of supporting evidence. I do wonder if Marsha Pechman didn’t make a mistake by declaring transgender people a protected class: I could be wrong, but I don’t think it was a question she was asked to rule on.

    Just to be clear, I do think transgender people should be a protected class, and for exactly the reasons Pechman laid out. By being logical and humane, though, she might have handed the Supremes—the Ninth Circuit isn’t likely to touch this decision—an excuse to take shots at a different group of icky people!

    It’s also possible I’m being unduly pessimistic.

    –alopecia

    • Badgerite

      However, since the government argues that such a ban is necessary for military readiness, they would still need to provide some kind of supporting evidence for that contention. Otherwise, they run afoul of the Equal Protection Clause, I would think. If there is no evidence to support the ban and in fact such a ban has been shown to harm military readiness in that it would deprive the military of people who are already serving well and filling vital positions, I don’t see how this ban is legally sustainable under the U.S. Constitution. It is rather transparent that this ban was politically motivated as a means to cater the a preferred ‘base’ of political support as opposed to any real military necessity. And that this base wants such a ban based on a animus which has its roots in their own interpretations of ‘Biblical law’. In other words, they are using a government ban to enforce their religious beliefs on the country as a whole.

      • muselet

        All true.

        –alopecia

        • Badgerite

          Yes and that is what courts of law are supposed to use as a basis for their decisions relating to the constitutional validity of any government action. What is actually true about the government action. Not just any old excuse that government lawyers can dream up to justify it that has no real basis in fact.

          • muselet

            I agree. I just worry that Marsha Pechman gave the less-than-tolerant of the Supremes an excuse to be, well, less than tolerant.

            –alopecia