With the U.S. Supreme Court green lighting President Trump this week to proceed with a ban on transgender military service, the U.S. Justice Department moved on Tuesday to dissolve the last court order standing in the administration’s way.
In a one-page notice signed by Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Hunt Joseph Hunt, the Justice Department informs U.S. Judge District George Russell in Maryland of the Trump administration’s intent to a file motion to request a stay on his preliminary injunction preventing Trump from enforcing the anti-trans policy.
Hunt cites the Supreme Court’s decision to issue stays challenging the transgender ban in two other cases before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In both those cases, trial courts issued orders barring the Trump from enforcing the policy as litigation proceeded, but stays from the Supreme Court abrogated those orders.
“The preliminary injunctions stayed in Karnoski and Stockmanare indistinguishable from the preliminary injunction in this case, and the Supreme Court’s order is binding precedent on the application of the stay factors to the injunction at issue here,” Hunt writes.
Once the preliminary injunction issued by the Maryland court is lifted, nothing will block the Trump administration its policy. As envisioned in an implementation plan issued by former Defense Secretary James Mattis, the policy would bar new transgender enlistments, but allow openly transgender people currently in the military to remain in the armed forces and receive transition-related care. (Individuals in the military who later decide to come out as transgender and transition, however, will face discharges.)
With the nation’s most superior court directing the Ninth Circuit to dissolve identical orders, it’s hard to see how Russell could keep the last remaining order against the transgender ban in place.
Russell issued the order in the case of Stone v. Trump, a legal challenge against the transgender military ban filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of six transgender service members.