The letter, which was sent by Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and signed by 116 Congressional Democrats—calls the ban an “attack on transgender service members who are risking their lives to serve our country.”
“In light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling… we urge the Department of Defense to immediately update its policies to eliminate the ban on open transgender military service,” the letter reads. “Additionally, to prevent further harm to transgender service members, we urge the DOD to instruct the Department of Justice to negotiate the end to litigations challenging the ban.”
According to the letter there are four lawsuits challenges the ban that claim it violates the Due Process Clause in the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, which prevents sex-based discrimination. The letter goes on to cite statements from notable organizations like the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Medical Association that support transgender military service.
“The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock will provide significant weight to those already substantial claims: the principle announced—that gender-identity discrimination is discrimination ‘because of…sex’—applies equally to claims under the Constitution,” the letter continues.
The Trump administration administered the ban in April 2019. The legislation only allows applicants with a history of gender dysphoria to serve if they can show 36 consecutive months in their birth gender immediately prior to enlisting, and they must serve in their birth gender. Anyone who has undergone a gender transition in the past is disqualified from serving.