Donald Trump asks U.S. court to fast-track trans military ban ruling

Barack-Obama-and-Nancy-Pelosi

Barack-Obama-and-Nancy-Pelosi

"As Americans come together and give thanks for the sacrifices made by our courageous service members and their families, the Trump-Pence administration is focused on undermining our military by tripling down on this discriminatory ban", said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California, which brought one of the successful suits against the ban.

"It involves", he wrote, "an issue of imperative public importance: the authority of the United States military to determine who may serve in the nation's armed forces".

The American Psychiatric Association defines gender dysphoria as a "clinically significant distress" due to a conflict between a person's gender identity and their sex assigned at birth.

The memorandum said transgender individuals with a history of gender dysphoria are disqualified from military service "except under certain limited circumstances".

The president announced on Twitter in 2017 that the country would no longer "accept or allow" transgender Americans to serve in the military, citing "tremendous medical costs and disruption". Historically, district courts would render relief only for the parties in the case before them, or at minimum would often stay broad decisions while the government takes the case up on appeal.

The Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court on Friday to bypass lower courts and rule quickly on its ban of most transgender military members. Trump's recent salvo against the "Obama judge" who ruled against his asylum policy - not one of the issues now before the Supreme Court - prompted Chief Justice John Roberts to fire back at the president for the first time for feeding perceptions of a biased judiciary. The new policy was met with a similar response, being stopped by judges in district courts. "In fact, there is considerable evidence that it is the discharge and banning of such individuals that would have such effects", U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote last spring in a case filed in the District of Columbia.

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One of the lawsuits against the Pentagon policy has made its way to an appeals court, the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"The military has been forced to maintain [its] prior policy for almost a year", Francisco wrote.

It is rare to ask the Supreme Court to hear a case before a federal appeals court has had an opportunity to weigh in.

Given the careful study of transgender military service by the Obama administration under Carter, the plaintiffs are seeking the basis for the military now arguing their presence in the service would cause problems. "There is no valid reason to jump the line now and seek U.S. Supreme Court review before the appellate courts have even ruled on the preliminary issues before them". The supreme court for now has refused to block the climate change trial.

Added Lambda Legal Counsel Peter Renn: "Yet again, the Trump administration flouts established norms and procedures".

However, the subject matter seems to be without precedent, meaning it's ripe for a Supreme Court review.

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