Supreme Court allows transgender military ban to go into effect

The Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump's transgender military ban to go into effect on Tuesday, dealing a blow to LGBT activists who call the ban c...

Posted: Jan 22, 2019 10:18 AM
Updated: Jan 22, 2019 12:30 PM

The Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump's transgender military ban to go into effect on Tuesday, dealing a blow to LGBT activists who call the ban cruel and irrational.

The Justices did not rule on the merits of the case, but will allow the ban to go forward while the lower courts work through it.

The four liberal justices on the Court objected to allowing the administration's policy banning most transgender people from serving in the military to go into effect.

The policy, first announced by the President in July 2017 via Twitter, and later officially released by then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis in 2018, blocks individuals who have been diagnosed with a condition known as gender dysphoria from serving with limited exceptions. It also specifies that individuals without the condition can serve, but only if they do so according to the sex they were assigned at birth.

Gender dysphoria involves a conflict between a person's physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

In a statement released after the SCOTUS decision to allow the ban to go forward, the Pentagon sought to clarify that its policy is not a ban on all transgender persons from the military.

'As always, we treat all transgender persons with respect and dignity. (The Department of Defense's) proposed policy is NOT a ban on service by transgender persons. It is critical that DoD be permitted to implement personnel policies that it determines are necessary to ensure the most lethal and combat effective fighting force in the world. DoD's proposed policy is based on professional military judgment and will ensure that the U.S. Armed Forces remain the most lethal and combat effective fighting force in the world,' Lt. Col. Carla Gleason, a Pentagon spokesperson, told CNN.

Shortly after the court's order, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tweeted that the policy was 'purpose-built to humiliate brave men & women seeking to serve their country.'

'Deeply concerning that #SCOTUS is allowing his ban to proceed for now,' she continued.

The court's move is a victory for the Trump administration. While government lawyers wanted the Court to take up the case, they also fought to allow the ban to go into effect while the case plays out in the lower courts.

'Today's dual rulings on the transgender ban allow the controversial policy to go into effect for now, but also allow the appeals to go forward in the lower courts,' said Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analysis and professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law.

'The government had asked the Justices to take the issue up even before the appeals courts could rule. Even though the Court denied that request, the fact that the Court is allowing the policy to go into effect suggests not only that it will eventually take the case on the merits, but also that five of the Justices believe the government is likely to prevail if and when that happens,' Vladeck said.

The Justice Department applauded the Court's order Tuesday, saying in a statement that the Defense Department 'has the authority to create and implement personnel policies it has determined are necessary to best defend our nation.'

'Due to lower courts issuing nationwide injunctions, our military had been forced to maintain a prior policy that poses a risk to military effectiveness and lethality for over a year,' Kerri Kupec, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department said in a statement. 'We will continue to defend in the courts the authority and ability of the Pentagon to ensure the safety and security of the American people.'

In July 2017, Trump surprised military leaders by tweeting, 'After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,' Trump said. 'Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.'

His tweets came less than a month into the six-month delay set by Mattis to review the US military's policy on transgender service members.

The Pentagon was forced to allow transgender applicants to join the military on January 1, 2018, after a federal judge ruled that the military had to allow transgender recruits to join.

By the government's own numbers in 2016, there were approximately 8,980 Service members that identify as transgender. During the Obama administration, 937 members were diagnosed with gender dysphoria and began or completed their transition.

The case

In December, the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to allow the ban on transgender people in the military to go into effect pending appeal after the lower courts froze the ban.

When the administration first asked the high court to take up the case last month, Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued that lower court rulings imposing nationwide injunctions are wrong and warrant immediate review.

The petitions he filed asked the justices to take up the issue in three separate cases that are still in lower courts so it could be decided definitively this term.

He wrote that because of the injunctions, 'the military has been forced to maintain that prior policy for nearly a year' despite a determination by Mattis and a panel of experts that the 'prior policy, adopted by (Defense Secretary Ash Carter), posed too great a risk to military effectiveness and lethality.'

Under normal circumstances, the Supreme Court does not like to take up an issue before it has made its way through the lower courts. The justices like to have issues percolate below so that they can benefit from the opinions of lower court judges.

Francisco has moved aggressively at times to get cases before a Supreme Court that is more solidly conservative with the addition of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. In one such case, Francisco recently asked the court for emergency help to let the administration's asylum ban go into effect.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

Lafayette
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 32°
Kokomo
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 25°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 28°
Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 32°
Danville
Partly Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 26°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 25°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 25°
Monticello
Clear
27° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 27°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 27°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 30°
Mild Conditions Continue Wednesday
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

WLFI is promoting fire safety with FREE smoke detectors

 WLFI and several local fire departments are helping with your fire safety this winter. CLICK HERE. 

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 657037

Reported Deaths: 12450
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion901321624
Lake48105871
Allen35552632
Hamilton31839393
St. Joseph29538510
Elkhart25261412
Vanderburgh21115377
Tippecanoe19765197
Johnson16242352
Porter15838267
Hendricks15723296
Clark11843179
Madison11672314
Vigo11503228
Monroe10248158
Delaware9788178
LaPorte9720194
Howard9017194
Kosciusko8514107
Bartholomew7373147
Warrick7369146
Hancock7362128
Floyd7139164
Wayne6586188
Grant6395157
Morgan6040124
Boone603388
Dubois5868111
Dearborn540266
Henry539492
Marshall5390104
Cass537199
Noble506775
Jackson462063
Shelby458490
Lawrence4154111
Gibson399681
Harrison395160
Clinton392353
DeKalb382078
Montgomery381583
Knox354484
Miami354063
Whitley346235
Huntington338176
Steuben335955
Wabash328775
Putnam325959
Ripley325161
Adams320249
Jasper312943
White295351
Jefferson292770
Daviess284296
Fayette270255
Decatur269388
Greene259978
Posey259731
Wells255374
Scott248446
LaGrange240170
Clay238944
Randolph225076
Spencer215830
Jennings213544
Washington207727
Sullivan202038
Fountain200341
Starke185950
Owen181652
Jay177328
Fulton176437
Carroll175618
Perry172435
Orange170450
Rush163922
Franklin158335
Vermillion158040
Tipton145441
Parke137915
Pike127232
Blackford120027
Pulaski105643
Newton96431
Brown94639
Benton91113
Crawford90113
Martin80114
Switzerland7507
Warren74612
Union66810
Ohio52711
Unassigned0425

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events