Federal Court Blocks Trump's Ban on Transgender Military Members
A federal court has blocked President Trump's attempted ban on transgender military members while the case goes through the court system
With this ruling, the presidential memo Trump signed in August cannot take effect. It restricts transgender people from joining the military and gives Defense Secretary James Mattis six months to decide what to do about those who are currently serving.
However, the judge upheld the restriction on using military funds for gender reassignment medical treatments that was part of the memo.
In her ruling, United States District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said that the proposed ban impacted current service members who “fear that the directives of the Presidential Memorandum will have devastating impacts on their careers and their families.”
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Kollar-Kotelly added that the impending case will likely find that Trump’s ban is a violation to transgender service members’ Fifth Amendment right to due process, according to The Hill.
“The court finds that a number of factors — including the sheer breadth of the exclusion ordered by the directives, the unusual circumstances surrounding the President’s announcement of them, the fact that the reasons given for them do not appear to be supported by any facts, and the recent rejection of those reasons by the military itself — strongly suggest that Plaintiffs’ Fifth Amendment claim is meritorious,” she wrote.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which also has a court case in the works against the transgender military ban, says this ruling is likely the sign of more to come.
“This is the first decision striking down President Trump’s ban, but it won’t be the last. The federal courts are recognizing what everyone already knows to be true: President Trump’s impulsive decision to ban on transgender people from serving in the military service was blatantly unconstitutional,” Joshua Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project said in a statement shared with PEOPLE. “As all of these cases move forward, we will continue to work to ensure that transgender service members are treated with the equal treatment they deserve.”
Trump first announced the ban in July with a series of tweets where he said that transgender military members “burdened” the armed forces with “tremendous medical costs and disruption.”
According to a 2016 Defense Department-commissioned study, gender reassignment treatments cost $8.4 million at most, representing just 0.13 percent of the military’s $6.2 billion health care budget
“For the President to deny an able-bodied, fully qualified person the inherent right to raise their right hand and serve their country, potentially giving their own life for our freedoms, is doing this country an injustice,” Logan, 29, said.