Trump admin asks Supreme Court to speed transgender troops case
27 November, 2018, 07:16 | Author: Donnie King
That proposal replaced President Trump's plan to ban all transgender military members, which he announced via Twitter in 2017. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Circuit is scheduled to hear an appeal of the ruling next month.
On November 23, Francisco took the extraordinarily rare step of asking the Supreme Court to take each of those cases now, rather than wait for perhaps another year for the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and D.C. Circuit to issue decisions.
Trump announced in March that he would endorse a plan by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to restrict the military service of transgender people who experience a condition called gender dysphoria. "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".
The Trump administration urged the U.S. Supreme Court Friday to immediately take up the legal battle over transgender military service, asking the justices to act even before the issue has gone through the lower courts.
While three district courts have blocked the policy, no circuit appeals court has ruled yet.
Administration officials say they want to ensure that the Supreme Court would be able to review the dispute before its term ends in June 2019.
"The decisions imposing those injunctions are wrong, and they warrant this Court's immediate review", Francisco wrote Friday. "No one with the strength and bravery to serve in the USA military should be turned away because of who they are", she said in a statement. Despite repeated attempts from federal courts to block it, the de facto ban is still keeping most trans troops out of service with bureaucratic red tape and increasingly obscure medical records requests.
In the court filing requesting the Supreme Court's review, the Justice Department said Gen. Mattis and other military leaders determined that the Obama policy "posed too great a risk to military effectiveness and lethality".
Trump reversed the policy, prompting outrage and lawsuits, which were ruled against the Trump administration.
"As Americans come together and give thanks for the sacrifices made by our courageous 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.
"It seems the Trump administration can't wait to discriminate", said Peter Renn of Lambda Legal.
The four injunctions, however - from district courts in Washington, DC, Baltimore, Seattle, and Riverside, California, with several of those injunctions upheld by appeals courts - have found that the transgender plaintiffs are likely to ultimately succeed in their claims and have ordered trials, which are now in the discovery phase. At an especially sensitive moment for the Supreme Court, the Trump administration is "forcing it into a minefield that many justices would nearly surely prefer to avoid", Matz said.
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