Friday, March 24, 2023

Second Judge Strikes Down Trump’s Transgender Military Ban

Earlier today, Baltimore Judge Marvin Garbis ruled that President Trump’s ban on transgender military ban “likely amounts to unconstitutional discrimination”.  Judge Garbis’s ruling is the second to challenge the legality of the ban since President Trump announced this policy change via Twitter in July.

 Trump’s initiated the ban, claiming it would save the military “tremendous medical costs and disruption” – was blocked by a judge in Washington state last month.
Trump holds up LGBT Rainbow Flag upside down during 2016 campaign. (Photo by Reuters.)

Judge Garbis’s ruline stated that the ban “lacked justification” and “cannot possibly constitute a legitimate governmental interest”.

The two decisions blocking the ban are the result of lawsuits filed in August by several active military members that are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) arguing that the ban violated their constitutional rights to due process and equal protection.

Reaction to the ruling from the White House is as expected.  Lauren Ehrsam, a Justice Department spokesperson, said the Trump administration disagrees, saying,

“We disagree with the court’s ruling and are currently evaluating the next steps,” Ehrsam said. “Plaintiffs’ lawsuit challenging military service requirements is premature for many reasons, including that the Defense Department is actively reviewing such service requirements, as the president ordered, and because none of the plaintiffs have established that they will be impacted by current policies on military service.”

At the Pentagon, Army Maj. Dave Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesperson, reminded reporters that a White House directed study evaluating transgender military service is ongoing.

“First and foremost, the health and welfare of our service members is of the upmost importance, and one of our top priorities,” Eastburn said. “That said, current interim guidance laid forth by the secretary of defense clearly states that persons diagnosed with gender dysphoria, by a military medical professional, will continue to serve. The current policy is under review and a recommendation will be made on the conditions of that policy from the secretary to the White House sometime early next year.”


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