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Court lets Trump anti-trans ban stand, and orders new review
2019-06-15

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On June 14, the The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed President Trump's ban on transgender members of the military to stand—setting aside a ruling by U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman, who is one of four federal judges to rule against Trump's policy, Reuters reported.

The appellate court—which basically ordered Pechman to reconsider her decision—said Mattis' policy "discriminates on the basis of transgender status" but was nevertheless "significantly different" from the ban.

Trump announced the transgender ban in July 2017, saying the military needed to focus on "decisive and overwhelming victory" without being burdened by the "tremendous medical costs and disruption" of having transgender personnel. The following March, he backed a revised policy from then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that disqualified most transgender people with a history of gender dysphoria from military service. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a five-to-four vote, erased lower-court injunctions that blocked the ban from going into effect.

In a statement, Lambda Legal's Sharon McGowan said, "With [the] decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, we moved one step closer to our goal: vindication of the constitutional rights of transgender service members.

"In an unanimous decision, the Ninth Circuit held that this administration's ban targets transgender people, rejecting the government's pretense to the contrary, and therefore must be analyzed using heightened judicial scrutiny, flatly rejecting the government's request for rubber-stamp approval. It also made clear that the district court was entitled to evaluate this discriminatory policy through a full presentation of the facts, which we are eager to make.

"Earlier this year, the Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration's premature request for review precisely because it wants the lower courts to evaluate the constitutionality of the ban on a full record. This ban remains rank discrimination that does nothing to promote national security and inflicts deep harm on the transgender people who wish to serve and the families whom they support, and who support them. But we are more determined than ever, and eager to continue this fight to relegate this hateful policy to the dustbin of history."

The full Reuters article is at www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-transgender/us-court-lets-trump-transgender-military-ban-stand-orders-new-review-idUSKCN1TF1ZM.


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