Supreme Court Allows Donald Trump’s Transgender Military Ban

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The US Supreme Court has lifted an injunction against Trump’s transgender military ban, meaning the policy is now able to be enforced.

The controversial policy means certain transgender troops will be banned from joining the military, or staying in the military if they’re already a part of it.

President Trump requested that the injunction be lifted in November, but a decision hadn’t been made until today (January 22).

As reported by Business Insider, the Supreme Court decided today that the injunction would be lifted. This means the ban can be implemented for the time being, while its constitutionality is decided by the lower courts.

The injunction put a hold on the policy’s implementation while a legal challenge continues in lower courts. However, now it’s been lifted the ban can be implemented until the legal challenge is over.

The request to lift the injunction was granted by the conservative majority, Reuters reported, while the four liberal justices on the Court objected, saying they would have kept the injunctions in place to block the policy.

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The policy bans individuals who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria from serving in the military with limited exceptions, CNN reports. It specifies that people without the condition can serve, but only if the do so as the sex they were assigned at birth.

According to the NHS, gender dysphoria is a condition where there is a ‘mismatch’ between a person’s biological sex and gender identity, leading to discomfort or distress.

The ban was first announced by the President in July 2017 via Twitter; in a series of three tweets, Trump said the medical costs would be ‘tremendous’, and ended by saying ‘Thank you’.

He wrote:

After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.

Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender (sic) in the military would entail. Thank you

Although Trump said that transgender people would not be allowed to serve in the US military ‘in any capacity’, the Pentagon today wanted to clarify that its policy is not a ban on all transgender individuals from the military.

In a statement released after the Supreme Court’s decision, Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Carla Gleason told CNN they ‘treat all transgender persons with respect and dignity’.

She said:

[The Department of Defense’s] proposed policy is NOT a ban on service by transgender persons. It is critical that DoD be permitted to implement personnel policies that it determines are necessary to ensure the most lethal and combat effective fighting force in the world.

DoD’s proposed policy is based on professional military judgment and will ensure that the U.S. Armed Forces remain the most lethal and combat effective fighting force in the world.

The decision has caused uproar, with many people saying the administration’s sole intention is to ‘erase’ trans people from public knowledge.

Others have described the ruling as ‘cruel’ and ‘ignorant’, with Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, calling it ‘deeply concerning’.

Taking to Twitter, Pelosi wrote:

@realDonaldTrump’s ban on trans Americans serving in our nation’s military was purpose-built to humiliate brave men & women seeking to serve their country. Deeply concerning that #SCOTUS is allowing his ban to proceed for now. #ProtectTransTroops

While the controversial policy is going ahead for now, the appeals are still going forward in the lower courts.

An overall decision is yet to be made.

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Lucy Connolly

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).