Court urged to immediately halt Trump transgender ban
The ACLU has called for an immediate injunction against Donald Trump’s ban on transgender troops.
Donald Trump’s Defense Secretary James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis is pushing ahead with the administration’s plans to ban transgender people from the military.
In the face of multiple civil rights lawsuits, Trump officials have already blocked recruitment of any military personnel who identify as transgender, while they are working on plans to ‘purge’ existing soldiers from next year.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which is leading a lawsuit against the ban from a number of transgender troops, has today called for an injunction against the ban, preventing its enforcement until further notice.
ACLU attorney Chase Santiago, who previously represented transgender whistleblower Chelsea Manning when she was denied the right to transitioned, announced the new filing.
He said: “Today we are filing a motion for a preliminary injunction asking the court to put an immediate stop to the President’s ban to ensure that the harms to our clients and the thousands of other transgender individuals serving our country are rectified immediately.”
The ACLU official added “Individuals like our client Staff Sgt. Kate Cole should not have to worry about whether their job, health care, entire life is on the line— not because of the risks inherent in the work she has so bravely taken on, but due to the political whims of her commander in chief pandering to a base that would like to see her very existence erased.
“Staff Sgt. Cole has served in the military since she enlisted at 17. She has deployed to Afghanistan, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. This work, her service, is the only job she has ever known, and she has devoted her life to it.
“Now her medical care has already been cancelled and she risks losing everything. And for what? Because the president decided to do the military ‘a favour’ and end transgender service without having to study it.
“Transgender people are not pawns in a political game. Our lives, our health care, our work cannot be erased with a tweet.
“We will not let that happen, and we are heading to court to stop it.”
The filing argues for the injunction on the basis that their Constitutional case against it is likely to succeed, adding that “the Transgender Service Member Ban cannot survive any level of scrutiny”.
It says: “President Trump’s abrupt decision to bar men and women who are transgender from serving in the military defies rational explanation.
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“All of the justifications advanced in defense of the Ban are either demonstrably false or make no sense in light of how the military treats other groups similarly situated in relevant respects.
“The anomalous process — in which a surprise Twitter announcement overrode the military’s extensive evidence-based review — confirms that the Transgender Service Member Ban is inexplicable by anything but animus toward the class it affects.”
The filing continues: “Plaintiffs and other transgender service members have suffered and continue to face significant harm from the Transgender Service Member Ban, as do transgender individuals who otherwise meet the qualifications to enlist or be commissioned.
“In light of the serious constitutional defects of the Ban, these harms necessarily take precedence in any balancing.”
It adds: “The Transgender Service Member Ban is unconstitutional and invalid on its face, and the Court should enter a preliminary injunction prohibiting Defendants from implementing or enforcing it.”