Court Blocks Trump’s Transgender Military Ban, Cites His Announcement via Twitter

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The courts have once more come through for decency by partially blocking President Donald Trump’s ban of transgender members from serving in the U.S. military.


On Monday the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that Trump’s directive banning new transgender recruits from enlisting cannot be enforced while the case is being reviewed in court.

The Hill reports that in August, Trump signed a presidential memo that prohibits the military from enlisting transgender people and from using funds to pay for gender-transition-related surgery. The memo also gave Defense Secretary James Mattis six months to determine what to do with transgender troops who are currently serving.

Although Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly dealt the president a blow, she did allow to stand the ban on funds for gender-reassignment surgery.

In a 76-page memo accompanying the ruling, Kollar-Kotelly wrote that the plaintiffs are likely to succeed in their case, saying that the ban violates their Fifth Amendment right to due process.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights and the GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders sued in August on behalf of six unnamed service members and two recruits.

“As far as the court is aware at this preliminary stage, all of the reasons proffered by the president for excluding transgender individuals from the military in this case were not merely unsupported, but were actually contradicted by the studies, conclusions and judgment of the military itself,” the judge added, referring to the military’s 2016 study done during the Obama administration that led to allowing open service by transgender troops.


In a most hilarious wrinkle, the judge also noted that the way in which the president made his announcement, via Twitter, also affected her ruling.

“The president abruptly announced, via Twitter—without any of the formality or deliberative processes that generally accompany the development and announcement of major policy changes that will gravely affect the lives of many Americans—that all transgender individuals would be precluded from participating in the military in any capacity,” she wrote. “These circumstances provide additional support for plaintiffs’ claim that the decision to exclude transgender individuals was not driven by genuine concerns regarding military efficacy.”


Read more at The Hill.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.



The Twitter giveth, and The Twitter taketh away. Put the phone down, Donnie.