Government asks justices to intervene in dispute over transgender service members

Government asks justices to intervene in dispute over transgender service members

President Donald Trump took the Pentagon by surprise in July 2017 when he said in a series of tweets that the government "will not accept or allow" transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the USA military.

The government's appeals of those rulings had been moving forward.

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.

Donald Trump has asked the Supreme Court to fast-track a review of his administration's proposed transgender military ban.

In fact, federal courts of appeal should consider the verdicts of the three lower courts.

In a court filing on November 23, Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued, "The military has been forced to maintain that prior policy for almost a year..."

The Pentagon initially lifted its ban on transgender troops serving openly in the military in 2016 under the orders of the Obama administration. Trump's recent salvo against the "Obama judge" who ruled against his asylum policy - not an issue now before the supreme court - prompted Roberts to fire back at the president for the first time, for feeding perceptions of a biased judiciary. "The injunctions preserve the status quo of the open service policy that was thoroughly vetted by the military itself and has been in place now for more than two years".

"As Americans come together and give thanks for the sacrifices made by our fearless service members and their families, the Trump-Pence administration is focused on undermining our military by tripling down on this discriminatory ban", said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California, which brought one of the successful suits against the ban. Trump's recent salvo against the "Obama judge" who ruled against his asylum policy - not one of the issues now before the Supreme Court - prompted Chief Justice John Roberts to fire back at the president for the first time for feeding perceptions of a biased judiciary.

Trump took Mattis's recommendations into account and adopted a policy in March which reversed an Obama administration directive allowing soldiers to switch their "gender marker" in their personnel records if they declared themselves as identifying as a member of the opposite sex.

"It seems the Trump administration can't wait to discriminate", Peter Renn, Legal Counsel of Lambda Legal, said in a statement. This would require bypassing the normal judicial process, as the Justice Department is essentially asking justices to review the cases before appeals courts have had an opportunity to rule on the issue. Diagnosed based on an individual's discomfort with their gendered appearance and identity as assigned at birth, that standard served for decades as the definitive metric of whether or not a person was permitted to receive transition resources like hormones and surgeries. "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".

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