WH calls SCOTUS to review transgender ban

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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.

Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat, said Saturday that the administration's decision to fast-track those cases to the Supreme Court is nothing more than a "cowardly, disgusting ban" on transgender individuals serving in the military.

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

The four injunctions, however - from district courts in Washington, DC, Baltimore, Seattle, and Riverside, California, with several of those injunctions upheld by appeals courts - have found that the transgender plaintiffs are likely to ultimately succeed in their claims and have ordered trials, which are now in the discovery phase.

In a court filing on November 23, Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued, "The military has been forced to maintain that prior policy for almost a year..."

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, charged that Donald Trump's latest gambit regarding his proposed trans military ban is yet another sign the president has "zero respect for this nation's military or the rule of law".

Sarah McBride of the Human Rights Campaign said the Trump administration was rushing the process "because they know that every day that transgender people continue to enlist and serve with distinction is another day that the courts and the public see this irrational policy for what it is".

Donald Trump asks Supreme Court to fast-track trans military ban ruling
JIM WATSON AFP Getty

Trump's repeated attempts to implement his transgender military ban have been widely condemned, with critics describing the move as inherently discriminatory.

On June 30, 2017, James Mattis - the Secretary of Defense in the Trump administration - announced that he would defer adopting the new standards to allow the military to "evaluate more carefully" their possible effects.

"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 previous year. "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.

The revised plan reversed the policy imposed during the Obama administration, allowing transgender members to serve openly and even to receive sex reassignment surgery. "No one with the strength and bravery to serve in the USA military should be turned away because of who they are", she said in a statement.

DOJ appealed all three of those decisions.

However, the subject matter seems to be without precedent, meaning it's ripe for a Supreme Court review. It's unclear when it will act on the administration's other requests. "Yet again, the Trump administration flouts established norms and procedures".

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