Judge says trans ban in mil­i­tary not le­gal

Irish Independent - - News - Andrew Chung

A FED­ERAL judge in Wash­ing­ton yes­ter­day blocked US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump from ban­ning trans­gen­der peo­ple from serv­ing in the US mil­i­tary, hand­ing a vic­tory to trans­gen­der ser­vice mem­bers who ac­cused the pres­i­dent of vi­o­lat­ing their con­sti­tu­tional rights.

Mr Trump in July said he would ban trans­gen­der peo­ple from the mil­i­tary in a move that would re­verse Demo­cratic for­mer pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s pol­icy and halt years of ef­forts to elim­i­nate bar­ri­ers to mil­i­tary ser­vice based on sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion or gen­der iden­tity.

The trans­gen­der ser­vice mem­bers sued in Au­gust to try to block the ban.

US Dis­trict Judge Colleen Kol­lar-Kotelly ruled the plain­tiffs were en­ti­tled to an in­junc­tion halt­ing en­force­ment of the ban un­til their case is re­solved.

The ser­vice mem­bers as­serted that Mr Trump’s pol­icy vi­o­lated their rights to due process and equal pro­tec­tion un­der the law un­der the US Con­sti­tu­tion.

Mr Trump signed a mem­o­ran­dum in Au­gust that di­rected the US mil­i­tary not to ac­cept trans­gen­der men and women as re­cruits and halted the use of gov­ern­ment funds for sex-re­as­sign­ment surg­eries for ac­tive-duty per­son­nel un­less the process is al­ready un­der way.

Judge Kol­lar-Kotelly said the plain­tiffs were likely to suc­ceed in their claims that the ban was un­con­sti­tu­tional be­cause the rea­sons given for the ban “do not ap­pear to be sup­ported by any facts”.

She said that other fac­tors, in­clud­ing “the unusual cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the pres­i­dent’s an­nounce­ment” of the ban, weighed in her de­ci­sion.

The judge, how­ever, tossed out the suit’s chal­lenge to the sex-re­as­sign­ment surgery di­rec­tive, say­ing none of the plain­tiffs had shown they would be af­fected by that pro­hi­bi­tion.

Mr Trump’s ac­tion ap­pealed to his hard-line con­ser­va­tive sup­port­ers.

The pres­i­dent in Fe­bru­ary also re­scinded pro­tec­tions put in place un­der Mr Obama for trans­gen­der pub­lic school stu­dents.

Anti-trans ban pro­test­ers in front of the White House in Wash­ing­ton back in July

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