Report: The White House Will Finalize the Transgender Service Ban This Week, Maybe

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

It's been a month since Trump arbitrarily tweeted that he would ban transgender people from serving in the military, but we still haven't seen an official policy delivered to the Pentagon.

That may be about to change. Maybe. The Wall Street Journal reported last night that a memo drafted by the White House will be delivered "in the coming days," but last night the Pentagon said it still hasn't received anything.

It is not clear if the memo is finalized. The Pentagon said in a statement Wednesday night that it "has not received formal guidance from the White House as a follow-up to the Commander-in-Chief's announcement on military service by transgender personnel."

"The (Defense) Department continues to focus on our mission of defending our nation and ongoing operations against our foes, while ensuring all service members are treated with respect," the statement read.

We won't know the full details until an official policy is actually unveiled, but the Wall Street Journal reported that the policy will prohibit transgender people from enlisting and will give the secretary of defense the discretion to remove transgender service members if deemed necessary for logistical reasons.

I figured the ban would be poorly written and unjustified, making it legally suspect, and this bolsters my opinion. Prohibiting transgender people from enlisting may be unconstitutional and giving the secretary of defense this kind of vague discretion seems wildly open to interpretation and enforcement. It's so vague you could drive a tank through it.

The new policy will also reportedly prohibit the military from providing transgender-specific health care and that may also be unconstitutional. As we've pointed out before, the military spends far more money on boner bills than transgender health care.

I don't know if it's even possible to write a transgender ban that is legally sound because the entire concept is not constitutionally sound. The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment either means something or it doesn't. We know many conservatives would love to repeal the Fourteenth Amendment, but that's not going to happen.

It should be said that even if this policy is implemented, that won't stop transgender people from enlisting just as Don't Ask Don't Tell did not stop gay people from enlisting. They'll simply have to hide it.

  • muselet

    Robert Bateman is not amused.


  • muselet

    Two weeks ago, Donald Trump took time out from golf to tell the press, “The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I’m saying officially, right now, it is an emergency.” No official declaration of an emergency has been signed, so the process of directing funds to deal with the emergency cannot begin; that means Trump was just flapping his gums, presumably hoping the reporters would go away and leave him alone to play another 18.

    Four weeks ago, Trump tweeted from the Lincoln Bathroom that he would reverse an Obama administration policy and restore a ban on transgender personnel in the military. So far, no memo stating the new (old) policy has been received by the Secretary of Defense. (I very much doubt whether anyone at DOD much cares about the issue, but that doesn’t matter to the Tweeter-in-Chief.)

    I’d suggest Trump is all hat and no cattle, but I don’t want to take the chance of provoking him into doing something other than spending long weekends at his golf courses.


    • JMAshby

      That’s why I felt compelled to add a “maybe.”

  • Badgerite

    The irony, of course, is that draft dodging POS is not fit to be on the same land mass with these trans people honorably, competently, and selflessly serving their country.

  • ninjaf

    This is red meat for the base. The Russia story is starting to rear its ugly head again so I think this memo is a distraction from that and I don’t think it will actually be released until he needs to change the news cycle. So far this week, we had his unhinged comments in Phoenix practically take the story about the Fusion GPS founder testifying for 10 hours before the Senate Intelligence Committee off the front page. This memo does that for another day, gives some red meat to his base (since polls are showing their support softening some), and has the added benefit of poking liberals one more time without actually doing anything. I am guessing they are going to keep issuing this one in their quiver until they need to change the narrative again or gin up base support.

  • Badgerite

    Let the lawsuits begin.

    • mnpollio

      The first thing I thought of as well. I wonder how all those self-proclaimed fiscal conservatives will feel over the money they will hemorrhage legally defending this absurd proclamation from the Turd in Chief.

      • Badgerite

        The operative word is “self-proclaimed” with all of the dishonest hypocrisy that that adjective implies. With trump or their tax cuts it is always, “put it on the credit card.” The US credit card that is.