Tuesday, November 07, 2017

37.1 - Good News: courts blocks military ban on transgenders

Good News: courts blocks military ban on transgenders

On October 30, federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the District Court for the District of Columbia issued a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of the central provisions of TheRump's order banning transgender people serving in the military - and she did it in no uncertain terms.

President Tweetie-pie's memo was issued August 25. It indefinitely extended a prohibition against transgender individuals joining the military and required the military to authorize, no later than March 23, 2018, the discharge of transgender people currently in the military.

Judge Kollar-Kotelly blocked those provisions, holding that the plaintiffs are "likely to succeed" on their due process claims, having "established that they will be injured by these directives, due both to the inherent inequality they impose, and the risk of discharge and denial of accession that they engender."

She also blasted the fact that Tweetie-pie made the initial announcement in a tweet, "without any of the formality or deliberative processes that generally accompany the development and announcement of major policy changes."

Administration lawyers had wanted the judge to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that it was premature and that "federal courts owe the utmost deference to the political branches in the field of national defense and military affairs," but Kollar-Kotelly said those argument "wither away under scrutiny."
The memorandum unequivocally directs the military to prohibit indefinitely the accession of transgender individuals and to authorize their discharge. This decision has already been made. These directives must be executed by a date certain, and there is no reason to believe that they will not be executed.
As if that wasn't enough, she also said that
all of the reasons proffered by the president for excluding transgender individuals from the military were not merely unsupported, but were actually contradicted by the studies, conclusions and judgment of the military itself.

Two last quick things: One, the reason the injunction is temporary is that it's not a final ruling; rather, it's that Tweetie-pie's order can't be enforced while the case against it moves through the courts.

And Judge Kollar-Kotelly did refuse to enjoin another part of Tweetie-pie's order, banning the use of funds for gender reassignment surgery. She ruled that plaintiffs had not established they would be harmed by the ban. The plaintiffs, for their part, regarded that as a very small loss, particularly because the ruling says the military's policy will "revert to the status quo" as it was before Tweetie-pie's order, a status quo which would include covering surgery.

All in all, even though it's about the military, it's still about rights, so this is genuine Good News.

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