Trump asks USA court for review of transgender military ban

Trump announced in March that he would endorse a plan by Defence Secretary Jim Mattis to restrict the military service of transgender people who experience a condition called gender dysphoria

The Supreme Court rarely allows such a move to leapfrog over the usual appeals process, but Solicitor General Noel Francisco said the Obama administration's policy of allowing transgender service poses a threat to military readiness and imposes "an unreasonable burden on the military that is not conducive to military readiness and lethality".

"This is simply one more attempt by a reckless Trump administration to push through a discriminatory policy", Jennifer Levi, the Transgender Rights Project Director at GLAD, said in a statement.

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

According to The New York Times, the leaked proposal begins: "Sex means a person's status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth".

The revised policy under the Trump administration says that transgender individuals with a history of gender dysphoria are barred from military service "except under certain limited circumstances". On July 26, 2017, Trump announced the USA military would not allow transgender individuals to serve. That is why Washington has asked the court on Friday to examine that case.

"There is absolutely no support for the claim that the ongoing service of transgender people would have any negative effective on the military at all", Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the US District Court in Washington wrote a year ago. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Circuit is scheduled to hear an appeal of the ruling next month.

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But it has not satisfied judges in lower courts, who have issued injunctions to keep the current policy in place.

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.

The service members in the case will have approximately a month to respond to the government's appeals; the justices are likely to announce in early to mid-January whether they will take up the cases. "In fact, there is considerable evidence that it is the discharge and banning of such individuals that would have such effects".

On November 23, Francisco took the extraordinarily rare step of asking the Supreme Court to take each of those cases now, rather than wait for perhaps another year for the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and D.C. Circuit to issue decisions.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has heard arguments on the merits of the case, but has not yet issued an opinion.

Transgender troops have been controversial for both the Trump and Obama administrations. The District of Columbia federal court likewise refused to lift its identical injunction on August 6 and the Central District of California did the same on September 18. "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".

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