On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Washington handed down an order that set aside another attempt by the Trump administration to prevent transgender people from joining the United States military.
The order, detailed in a six-page document, stated that President Donald Trump’s administration had “not shown a strong likelihood that they will succeed on the merits of their challenge” to earlier court orders that had rejected the ban.
In so doing, the order by three judges sitting on a panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals, as well as a Thursday ruling against the ban by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, might result in the battle going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, as reported by Reuters.
Earlier this year, President Trump issued a presidential memorandum directing Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke to “return to the longstanding policy and practice on military service by transgender individuals that was in place prior to June 2016,” and to halt the use of military “resources to fund sex reassignment surgical procedures for military personnel.”
In 2016, the Obama administration had set a deadline of July 1, 2017, for the U.S. military to commence allowing transgender recruits to undergo the necessary training. However, Secretary Mattis said that the date would be postponed to January 1, 2018, while the Trump administration works out the details of the proposed ban.
U.S. District Judge Jesus Bernal asserted that Trump’s transgender military ban would cause those affected to suffer “irreparable harm.
“There is nothing any court can do to remedy a government-sent message that some citizens are not worthy of the military uniform simply because of their gender.”
Last month, Inquisitr reported that a federal judge had ordered the U.S. military to resume admitting transgender service members by January 1, 2018, thereby reinstating former President Barack Obama’s landmark policy.
According to NBC News, while delivering a ruling on Monday, November 27, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said that her order meant that the military must abide by the Obama-era policies that were defined in a “June 30, 2016, directive-type memorandum,” which granted transgender individuals the right to enlist from January 1, 2018.
“Any action by any of the Defendants that changes this status quo is preliminarily enjoined,” Kollar-Kotelly wrote in her ruling.
Before the June 2016 Obama-era legislation that lifted the ban on transgender people from serving in the military, the Defense Department guidelines defined transgender people as “sexual deviants.” But on June 30 of last year, former Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter announced that “transgender Americans may serve openly” and further stated that they could “no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military just for being transgender.”
Carter also said that the Pentagon would cover any medical costs of those in uniform who were due to undergo gender reassignment surgery.