Trump’s trans military ban — a policy of barring transgender people from serving in the military, which was initially announced to the American people via Twitter in July 2017 — has been temporarily allowed to take effect by the U.S. Supreme Court today.
The Supreme Court’s conservative majority — five members including Trump’s two appointees, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — voted to temporarily allow the ban to go into effect while the multiple court cases challenging it move through the system. The Court’s four liberal judges dissented.
The Trump administration also asked the Supreme Court to bypass regular judicial protocol and immediately hear appeals from the trial court decisions which have blocked the ban. The Court refused to do that.
The trans military ban makes exceptions for those trans service members who are already currently serving in the military, of which there are presumed to be several hundred. Trans service members who are willing to serve “in their biological sex” are also excepted from the ban, meaning a trans woman may serve as a man, and a trans man may serve as a woman.
The ban prevents any new trans recruits from serving in the military, however.
Right now, the merits of Trump’s trans military ban will be decided by multiple federal appeals courts, namely the 9th Circuit and the D.C. Circuit. The 9th Circuit is expected to rule soon.
Naturally, trans rights groups have seized the opportunity to call the trans military ban what it is: “contrived efforts to gin up a national crisis,” Jennifer Levi, director of the Transgender Rights Project of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, tells The New York Times.
She has faith, though: “The Trump administration’s cruel obsession with ridding our military of dedicated and capable service members because they happen to be transgender defies reason and cannot survive legal review.”