On Friday (June 14), the court set aside a ruling from U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman that said the ban was likely in violation of transgender service members’ constitutional rights. Pechman is one of four federal judges who have ruled against the policy.
While the court didn’t rule on the merits of her ruling, they ordered Pechman to give the military’s judgment more deference.
“On the current record, a presumption of deference is owed, because the 2018 policy appears to have been the product of independent military judgment,” the court said.
This is a small victory for the Trump administration, as this decision could strengthen the president’s position on the ban.
Sharon McGowan, the legal director of Lambda Legal, said the decision foreshadowed the “vindication of the constitutional right of the transgender service members who have been harmed by this policy.”
President Trump defended the ban recently, telling Piers Morgan of Good Morning Britain that transgender troops shouldn’t serve because “they take massive amounts of drugs.” However, the claim was debunked by experts who say the hormone therapy drugs many transgender people take are not prohibited by military policy.