Supreme Court Allows Transgenders to be Banned from U.S. Military

The Supreme Court ruled in President Donald Trump’s favor on Tuesday, allowing him to temporarily enforce its restrictions on transgender people serving in the military.

According to The Hill, the court ruled  5-4 to stay two district court orders that blocked the new policy, with the court’s liberal wing dissenting. The justices said they are waiting for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to weigh in.

“The department is pleased with the orders issued by the Supreme Court today,” Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Carla Gleason said in a statement.  “We will continue to work with the Department of Justice regarding next steps in the pending lawsuits. As always, we treat all transgender persons with respect and dignity.”

Meanwhile, Pentagon officials stated they won’t be able to completely implement the new policy.

The Hill reports that a government’s request to dissolve that injunction is still pending in the district court. However, it’s expected the Supreme Court’s decision is seen as a signal that the lower courts should also stay the order.  

LGBT rights advocates said that they were encouraged — at least for now — that the Pentagon is acknowledging that third order.

“It means they are not going to take steps to enforce the ban,” said Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, co-counsel in two of the lawsuits against the policy. “That’s been the kind of question that was up in the air today and certainly it’s imperative that transgender service members and transgender people seeking to enlist know the policy and whether DoD [Department of Defense] is going to enforce the ban or not.”

Transgender troops have been serving openly since June 2016 when the Obama administration lifted the previous ban on their service.

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