In a string of controversial policy decisions, earlier this year President Donald Trump attempted to restrict the enlistment and activation of transgender military personnel from the United States army. With the effort receiving immense backlash from activist groups and individuals around the country, lawsuits and various cases have arisen attempting to ensure that such discriminatory actions by the administration could not be taken.
A ruling, which was announced on Friday, clearly deals a major blow to the Trump administration’s attempt to restrict transgender military personnel, coming in a timely manner, considering the proposed policy would have been set to be effective come January 1st of the new year.
The new ruling from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals comes on the heels of a similar ruling by a Maryland appeals court from U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, which rejected the administration’s attempt to block approval of enlistment of transgender individuals. The order that came from the Court of Appeals, as well as the one which came from Kollar-Kotelly, ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, who are arguing for the continuation of their capability to enlist and be active in the U.S. military.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) December 23, 2017
In Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling, she claimed that her injunction would refuse Trump’s attempt to restrict transgender troops, and claimed that the current administration must maintain the policies which were implemented by the former Obama administration, and continue to allow the enlistment of transgender individuals in the military. In following up with Kollar-Kotelly’s order, the D.C. appeals court outlined that there was minimal credible evidence that would justify a blocking of the Maryland judge’s injunction, and keeping the order that was made intact.
It's been more than 24 hours since the 4th Circuit denied DOJ's stay request to stop the Jan. 1 deadline for allowing transgender military recruits — https://t.co/6tHGvezz3h — and there's still no word of any further stay requests to #SCOTUS (or en banc).
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) December 22, 2017
The D.C. Court of Appeals wrote in their decision that the restriction would deprive the American military with personnel that are skilled and talented, and would run counterproductive to public interests. Furthermore, they stated that, “in the balancing of equities, it must be remembered that all Plaintiffs seek during this litigation is to serve their Nation with honor and dignity, volunteering to face extreme hardships, to endure lengthy deployments and separation from family and friends,” and further outlining that the sacrifice that the Plaintiffs are arguing to provide would run against the ideals and values set forth by the U.S. Constitution and the democratic way of life.
From anti-trans bills to discrimination in the military to banning the word "transgender" for the CDC, there is a not-so-subtle effort to erase trans people from public life.
But we aren't going anywhere and we are fighting back. This is our country, too.
— Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride) December 16, 2017
In July of this year, Trump announced on Twitter that he wanted to bar the ability of transgender individuals from enlisting in the army, with the White House providing a memo in the following month of August as to how they would plan to take on such an action. Nevertheless, the Pentagon later issued another memo following the administration’s intents to processing transgender recruits, after an earlier court decision blocked the ban from taking place. With the date of implementation to have taken place on January 1 of the new year, the new court rulings from both Maryland and the D.C. Court of Appeals provide insight into the likelihood that the administration will continue to face strict legal battles in attempting to restrict transgender involvement and enlistment into the military.
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