Supreme Court Allows Trump Administration to Implement Transgender Military Ban

The Supreme Court in Washington D.C. Photo by Ken Hammond.

By Jessica O’Donnell, Howard University News Service

WASHINGTON D.C. — On Tuesday that the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow the Trump administration to continue its plan to enact transgender restrictions within the military. The Associated Press reports that this ruling will permit the Pentagon to ban people who have undergone a surgical gender transition from enlisting in the military.

The ruling comes after months of controversy. In July of 2017, President Trump tweeted, “the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”

In August of the same year, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) filed Doe v. Trump, to stop the ban, citing it as unconstitutional. Weeks later, the ACLU filed Stone v. Trump in an attempt to halt the ban.

The back-and-forth between civil rights organizations and the Trump administration continued for over a year. Ultimately, these attempts by the groups to prevent the exclusion of transgender people in the military were unsuccessful.

On Tuesday, activists across social media platforms prompted their audiences to call their Senators and Representatives and plea them to take action. The National Center for Transgender Equality took to Twitter to oppose the Supreme Court’s decision.

The organization wrote on Twitter, “An estimated 15,000 transgender people currently serve in the military and the Court’s action today puts their entire careers and livelihoods into question. They deserve our respect and gratitude, not to be banned from service.”

The Department of Justice and the Department of Defense both released statements pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision. Department of Justice spokesperson Kerri Kupec says, “our military had been forced to maintain a prior policy that poses a risk to military effectiveness and lethality.”