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On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, the Supreme Court reached two rulings that will reinstate the Trump administrations ban on transgender people from serving in the military.
The cases were Trump vs. Stockman and Trump vs. Karnoski. The lower court stopped the ban in both the cases. The order issued overturns those injunctions.
The court voted along party lines with liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan voting in dissent. The five conservatives Justices John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito, and Brett M. Kavanaugh voted to allow the restrictions.
The transgender military ban was announced on Twitter in July 2017 by Trump. Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis released a statement that officially banned people from serving in the military who suffer from gender dysphoria. The regulation also said individuals who do not have the condition could serve only if they do so as the sex they were born with.
The ruling of the Supreme Court is a victory for the White House. Trump’s lawyers wanted the Supreme Court to hear the case and wanted the ban to take place while the case worked itself through the lower courts.
The government has reported that in 2016, there were over 8,980 transgender service members. At the time Obama was President, 937 servicemembers have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria or began to transition.
Until President Obama permitted transgender individuals to serve openly, Military police banned transgender people.
The Pentagon released a statement saying the Supreme Court ruling is not a ban on transgender service. Transgender individuals can serve if they serve under the sex they were born with.
Lambda Legal defense issued a statement saying transgender individuals have been permitted to serve openly in the military for over 30 months. This has now been taken away from them, and Lambda will continue to fight.
Written By Barbara Sobel
The Washington Post: Supreme Court allows Trump restrictions on transgender troops in military to go into effect as legal battle continues
Think Progress: BREAKING: Supreme Court reinstates Trump’s ban on trans servicemembers in the military
Associated Press: Supreme Court allows Trump admin to enforce transgender military ban while case proceeds
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Elvert Barnes’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License