LGBT

Trump’s Transgender Military Service Ban Has Been Blocked. Again.

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

You may recall that the Trump regime has been playing grab-ass with the courts by introducing a new transgender military service ban with slightly different language than the original ban.

The goal was to hoodwink the courts by arguing that their rulings against the original ban shouldn't apply to the new ban -- a new ban that is supposedly better or at least legally sound -- but the courts aren't buying it so far.

U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has blocked the new ban because, in words, it's not substantively different.

The administration argued that the new policy, which also bars anyone who requires or has undergone gender transition, was no longer a categorical ban.

Kollar-Kotelly disagreed. The new policy effectively implements the original ban “by targeting proxies of transgender status, such as ‘gender dysphoria’ and ‘gender transition,’ and by requiring all service members to serve ‘in their biological sex,’” she wrote in Monday’s ruling.

Banning anyone who has already undergone gender transition would seemingly disqualify the idea that allowing transgender people to serve in the military is too expensive.

In any case, Judge Kollar-Kotelly brought up an even more pertinent reality: transgender people are enlisting and serving in the armed forces right now and it hasn't prevented the military from conducting all the wars we're currently fighting in.

In Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s order, she emphasized the importance of transgender military service with regard to military readiness, “It should not be forgotten that the United States military remains engaged in numerous armed conflicts throughout the world, and service members are still being injured and killed in those conflicts. The public interest and equities lie with allowing young men and women who are qualified and willing to serve our Nation to do so.” Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s also affirmed the transgender community’s capability to serve, noting, “the Mattis Implementation Plan still accomplishes an extremely broad prohibition on military service by transgender individuals that appears to be divorced from any transgender individual’s actual ability to serve. In the absence of the challenged policy, transgender individuals are subject to all of the same standards and requirements for accession and retention as any other service member. The Mattis Implementation Plan establishes a special additional exclusionary rule that precludes individuals who would otherwise satisfy the demanding standards applicable to all service members simply because they have certain traits that are associated with being transgender.”

Judge Kollar-Kotelly's ruling will be appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which is not necessarily friendly territory to the Trump regime.

This is most likely headed for the Supreme Court, but I still believe the highest court will decline to hear the case and allow lower court rulings to stand. At the very least, they may remand the case back to the lower court in the hopes that Trump regime lawyers will develop better arguments. The Supreme Court recently remanded a transgender bathroom ban back to the Fourth Circuit.

We still haven't seen a single federal appeals court rule in favor of a transgender ban of any kind, whether it's a bathroom ban or a military service ban.

  • muselet

    Brava to Colleen Kollar-Kotelly for seeing through the clouds of squid ink emitted by the Trump administration.

    The Ninth Circuit will likely affirm Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling, but the Supreme Court is a bit of a crapshoot, especially after Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed. Remanding the case back down to the District level is a best-case scenario.

    –alopecia