A federally appointed judge just a kibosh on the President’s military transgender ban.
A United States District Judge, Seattle’s Marsha Pechman, struck down the ruling on June 15. Pechman soundly rejected the administration’s request to block transgender people from military service.
Pechman had previously struck down the original ban in April. The administration has planned to appeal that April ruling. While preparing their appeal, the Trump Administration sought to continue to ban during litigation. This June ruling rejects the Administration’s reasoning, and still finds the block unconstitutional.
In her comments, Pechman compared the anti-transgender policy to the military’s dubious history of exclusion. Specifically, Pechman analogized the ban on trans individuals to the exclusion of African-Americans from the American military.
Pechman said: ” … because transgender people have long been subjected to systemic oppression and forced to live in silence, they are a protected class. Therefore, any attempt to exclude them from military service will be looked at with the highest level of care.”
In 2016, the Obama Administration lifted the military trans ban. If their courtroom strategies are successful, the Trump Administration’s ruling would roll back the Obama order.
The process began eleven months ago, when Trump tweeted out a message that “the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
The revised order suggested that such individuals would be banned “except under certain limited circumstances.”
Arguments for the ban appealed to unit cohesion and military readiness; similar arguments were made to oppose the inclusion of women and people of color in the armed services.
Lambda Legal senior attorney Peter Renn said, “You would think the administration would get tired of all the losing, and more importantly, would read the writing on the wall and abandon this discriminatory and harmful scheme to prevent brave and qualified transgender people from serving their country.”
A letter bearing the signature of 56 retired generals and admirals opposes the discriminatory efforts proposed by the White House. Nearly half of all Senators signed a letter opposing the ban.