Saturday, 15 December, 2018

US Government Asks High Court to Hear Transgender Military Case

Trump announced in March that he would endorse a plan by Defence Secretary Jim Mattis to restrict the military service of transgender people who experience a condition called gender dysphoria Trump takes transgender troops case to court
| 27 November, 2018, 07:12

The Donald Trump government wants the Supreme Court to rule on its decision to ban transgender people from the US Army.

The Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to fast-track cases on the president's decision to prevent certain transgender people from serving in the military.

So it's rare for the justices to intervene early as the Trump administration has been pressing them to do. That is why Washington has asked the court on Friday to examine that case.

"The military has been forced to maintain [its] prior policy for almost a year", Francisco wrote.

Like the ban on transgender service in the military, that policy has been blocked by federal trial judges.

"In my professional judgment, these policies will place the Department of Defense in the strongest position to protect the American people, to fight and win America's wars, and to ensure the survival and success of our Service members around the world", he added.

But yesterday the Trump administration made its second such request in less than 20 days, this time urging the justices to take up three cases (here, here and here) challenging the government's ban on service in the military by most transgender individuals.


Trump's repeated attempts to implement his transgender military ban have been widely condemned, with critics describing the move as inherently discriminatory.

"Exempting such persons from well-established mental health, physical health, and sex-based standards, which apply to all Service members, including transgender Service members without gender dysphoria, could undermine readiness, disrupt unit cohesion, and impose an unreasonable burden on the military that is not conducive to military effectiveness and lethality", read the recommendation that was included in a court filing. "In fact, there is considerable evidence that it is the discharge and banning of such individuals that would have such effects", U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote last spring in a case filed in the District of Columbia.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit heard oral argument in one of the cases on October 10, but it has not yet issued its ruling. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Circuit is scheduled to hear an appeal of the ruling next month.

Transgender troops have been controversial for both the Trump and Obama administrations.

The events giving rise to the government's appeals began in 2016, when then-Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced that transgender individuals would be allowed to serve in the military. It seems the Trump administration can't wait to discriminate. "There is no valid reason to jump the line now and seek US Supreme Court review before the appellate courts have even ruled on the preliminary issues before them".

This is the fourth time in recent months that the Trump administration has tried to bypass the normal courts process.

The effort has drawn criticism from those who say such requests puts the Supreme Court in position to be seen as doing the administration's bidding.

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