A Second U.S. Federal Court Has Blocked Trump’s Trans Military Ban, But for a Surprising Reason
The Trump trans military ban issued via Twitter in July 2017 was always based on flimsy reasoning: The U.S. President consulted no currently serving military officials about it and lied about the military not being able to absorb the cost of trans healthcare (even though the military spends five times more money on Viagra). Two weeks before Trump issued his official memo instating the ban in late August, two LGBTQ organizations filed lawsuits against it. Near the end of last month, a U.S. court blocked the ban from going into effect because the judge found that Trump’s reasoning made no sense. And just yesterday a second federal court did the same but for a different reason.
Why the court blocked the Trump trans military ban
In a 53-page decision issued by U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis yesterday, he said that the policy (which is set to take effect in March 2018) violates both the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause and the guaranteed rights of service members to recieve medical care.
According to The Washington Post, Garbis said that “transgender people serving in the military have ‘demonstrated that they are already suffering harmful consequences’ due to Trump’s policy,’” and Garbis issued a injunction that not only stops the ban from going into effect, but also prevents the administration from denying funding for trans soldiers’ transition-related surgical care.
The U.S. Justice Department lawyers had asked Garbis’ to dismiss the lawsuit against the ban because the ban is on hold pending a Defense Department review, meaning that the military isn’t currently discharging active-duty trans service members nor is it denying them transition-related medical care.
The court ruled that the Trump trans military ban is already harming soldiers
However, Garbis wrote that trans military members have already suffered harm from the policy because of:
the cancellation and postponements of surgeries, the stigma of being set apart as inherently unfit, facing the prospect of discharge and inability to commission as an officer, the inability to move forward with long-term medical plans, and the threat to their prospects of obtaining long-term assignments.
An estimated 1,320 to 15,000 transgender individuals are already actively serving in the military. Trans healthcare costs the military between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually. Comparatively, the military spends $41.6 million annually on the erectile dysfunction medication Viagra and Trump’s visits to play golf at his private Palm Beach club at Mar-A-Lago cost U.S. taxpayers $1 million a day.