Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to take up Transgender Military Ban

Mila Madison

On behalf of the Trump administration, Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed the petition claiming the lower court injunctions that are preventing the President from banning transgender people from serving in the military are lawfully wrong and require immediate review. According to a report by CNN, the petition seeks to find a definite answer as to whether the attempted ban would be lawful.

Trump originally tried to implement the ban back in August 2017 after having announced his intention to ban transgender people from serving via Twitter in July 2017. If it were implemented, the policy would have banned people with gender dysphoria from serving, thus only allowing those who have not been diagnosed with gender dysphoria to serve, in which case the would only be allowed to serve in their assigned gender at birth.

To date, multiple district courts have blocked all attempts by the current administration to implement the ban.  

This past fall, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in one challenge while the DC Circuit is set to hear arguments this December.

What is making the case even more interesting is that the President has recently called out the 9th circuit publicly, referring to the judges there as “Obama Judges” who continually rule against his administration.

"This was an Obama judge, and I'll tell you what, it's not going to happen like this anymore," Trump said. "Everybody that wants to sue the U.S., they file their case in the Ninth Circuit, and it means an automatic loss. No matter what you do, no matter how good your case is. And the Ninth Circuit is really something we have to take a look at, because it's not fair."

What makes the Supreme Court Petition even more interesting is that Chief Justice John Roberts and the President recently got into a public argument over the independence of the judiciary. Justice Roberts issued a rare public statement that criticized the President for calling the lower court judge who had ruled against him an “Obama Judge.”

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Justice Roberts said. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”

Trump responded by lashing back at the Chief Justice on Twitter.

“Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have ‘Obama judges,’ and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country,” Trump said via Twitter.

What is not known is whether the Supreme Court will take up the case, as they normally like to wait for a legal issue to complete its course through the lower courts so they can take into account the ruling opinions of the lower court judges when they make a decision. 

Other factors affecting the outcome will be the newly confirmed Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose appointment now tips the court to a conservative lean. What we do know is that if the case is heard by the Supreme Court, their ruling could affect the rights of transgender people for generations.