Court Halts Trump’s Transgender Military Ban

In an era where a petty and erratic man is president, thank goodness the United States still has three branches of government. The courts are working overtime to keep President Donald Trumpís worst impulses in check, most recently thwarting his ban on transgender people serving in the military.

On Monday, U.S. District Court judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly put an injunction on Trumpís controversial ban. Though she didnít officially rule on the issue, she did indicate that the White House was unlikely to win the case due to the Fifth Amendment, so she wouldnít burden transgender troops in the meantime.

In August, GLAAD and the National Center for Lesbian Rights jointly filed this lawsuit on behalf of active transgender service members. Jennifer Levi, one of the attorneys for the organization praised Judge Kollar-Kotellyís injunction as an “enormously important decision.”

Itís a decision that will allow transgender people to continue serving openly without interruption. Unfortunately, a stop blocking the recruitment of transgender troops will remain in effect until the start of 2018, but with two months to go, thatís got to be considered good news compared to the total and indefinite ban for which Trump has been advocating.

Though this win is a major victory for the trans community and equal rights in general, the fight is probably not completely over, since the government has the option to appeal, and is likely to do so.

Moreover, the judgeís decision does not touch the part of Trumpís order that halted government money from covering sex reassignment surgeries, with Kollar-Kotelly explaining that that portion is out of her courtís jurisdiction. Thatís a policy that should also be eradicated, however, since these procedures are an insignificant portion of the militaryís health care budget.

The White Houseís only statement†thus far†on the federal court injunction was that the Department of Justice would be reviewing the order and that it had no further comment on the issue at this time.

Given everything else going on for the Trump administration, itís not good optics for the White House to have to slog through this losing battle, too. Trump forced his staffís hand, however, when back in July he seemingly impulsively tweeted an order that transgender people could not serve in the military. Even top military officials admitted that they were surprised by the announcement, unaware that Trump was considering it.

In fact, Kollar-Kotelly cited Trumpís impulsiveness as a reason for her decision. While she may have been inclined to keep the presidentís ban in place if it were based on thought-out policy, she wrote, ďThe record at this stage of the case shows that the reasons offered for categorically excluding transgender individuals were not supported and were in fact contradicted by the only military judgment available at the time.Ē

And so, yet again, Trump must learn the hard way how the United Statesís three branches of government operate. Having the president say it doesnít always make it so, particularly when the proclamation is unconstitutional. Itís embarrassing that the courts have to keep overriding the president, but so important for them to be there to do it.

Take Action!

Since this matter is not completely over, sign the petition to ensure transgender citizens maintain their right to serve in the military.

Photo Credit: Ted Eytan

56 comments

Beth M
Beth M12 days ago

FU, Trump!

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Beth M
Beth M12 days ago

Yeah!

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Nancy W
Nancy W15 days ago

I am thankful for three branches of government ... let's hope it stays that way cuz we do NOT need tRump for dicktator!!

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Paulo R
Paulo R16 days ago

good

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Paulo R
Paulo R16 days ago

good

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Paulo R
Paulo R16 days ago

good

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Janis K
Janis K16 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Christian M
Christian M17 days ago

Tjx.

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Kathryn I
Kathryn I17 days ago

Petition signed. Trump's response to that was enjoyable to watch! Thanks

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Janet B
Janet B18 days ago

Thanks

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