The Trump administration is confident its ban on transgender people serving in the military will be upheld by the Supreme Court, citing the court’s ruling upholding the president’s Muslim travel ban as proof.
Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that despite his negative comments about Muslims, the ban was Constitutional because the final version was based on a security review.
The transgender military ban has been slapped down by federal courts, leading to a new version of the policy revealed by the administration in March that still keeps most of them out of the armed services. Even those who are eligible are finding themselves bogged down by red tape and increasingly obscure medical records requests.
The soldiers suing the administration want it to hand over documents and any other relevant materials drafted in the lead-up to the transgender ban that could show animus, and not troop readiness, was behind the decision.
The Supreme Court’s travel ban ruling “instructs that the court must assess the 2018 policy on its own terms, rather than assessing purported intent behind the policy based on prior statements,” the Justice Department said, Bloomberg reports. “Such alleged animus is not pertinent to review of the military’s new policy.”
“The court should focus on the stated justifications for the policy” and “not any underlying presidential statements or deliberations,” the administration claims.
“The Supreme Court found that the travel ban was neutral on its face toward religion,” said Lambda Legal’s Peter Renn. “The ban on military service openly targets transgender people, without any attempt to hide the government’s discrimination. Had the travel ban instead been titled, the ‘Muslim Admission Policy,’ there’s no question that the case would have come out differently.”