The U.S. Supreme Court is allowing President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender service members to go into effect while the case proceeds.
In a 5-4 vote, the justices put a hold on lower court rulings that had placed injunctions against the White House, barring the controversial rule from being implemented, according to Bloomberg News.
BREAKING: #SCOTUS issues a stay of injunctions against Trump's transgender service ban, allowing the Trump administration to begin enforcing its ban while the case proceeds. pic.twitter.com/vBfX0sznLH
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) January 22, 2019
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented.
It should be noted that, while the high court has vacated previous injunctions against Trump’s ban, the justices did not agree to review the case until after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issues its ruling.
BREAKING: The US Supreme Court allows President Trump's transgender military ban to go into effect, dealing a blow to LGBT activists who call the ban cruel and irrational https://t.co/QMsI6Tyjaz pic.twitter.com/P3ZtUNC1GS
— CNN (@CNN) January 22, 2019
Several injunctions against the Trump policy were introduced when he announced the ban via Twitter in July 2017. The lower courts argued the rule should be suspended while legal challenges are heard.
The White House pushed back against the injunctions, taking the case to the Supreme Court, arguing the policy is a matter of national security — since it pertains to the U.S. military — and should be in effect as the challenges work their way through the courts.
The Supreme Court justices cleared the previous injunctions just days after a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled the policy had been fine-tuned by Pentagon officials under the direction of then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis and is no longer a “blanket ban,” The Washington Post reported.
While Trump initially advocated a complete ban of any transgender service members, Mattis’ revised policy was more specific, blocking from service only those who identify with a sex different from their biological sex and who are seeking to transition.
Mattis’ plan also made exceptions for the 900 transgender military members already serving openly and for those who agree to enlist in accordance with their biological sex.
“The government took substantial steps to cure the procedural deficiencies,” the D.C. panel argued, noting the revised policy “appears to permit some transgender individuals to serve in the military.”
The president took to Twitter in the summer of 2017 to announce his plan to bar transgender citizens from serving in the military. He said at the time the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”