January 22, 2019

Palm Center Responds to Supreme Court Decision Allowing Transgender Military Ban to Take Immediate Effect

Ruling Allows, But Does Not Require, Military to Reinstate Ban

SAN FRANCISCO, CA– The Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended a string of preliminary injunctions that had blocked President Trump’s transgender military ban from going into effect. The ruling allows, but does not require, the military to reinstate the ban for the duration of ongoing litigation over the policy. The Court simultaneously denied certiorari for a full hearing of the government’s appeal to lift the injunctions.

Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin released the following statement in response to today’s decision:

“While it is unfortunate that the Supreme Court has allowed military discrimination to be reinstated, it’s critical to understand that the military is not required, and has no need, to reinstate the transgender ban, which would cause destabilizing whipsaws in personnel policy. President Trump revoked his directive for a ban and has turned the issue over to the military’s discretion ‘to implement any appropriate policies concerning military service by transgender individuals.’ The Defense Department should not reinstate the transgender ban because it would undermine readiness, cause significant disruptions and uncertainty, deprive the military of much-needed talent, and wreak havoc with the lives and careers of the 14,700 transgender troops bravely protecting our nation’s security.”

The Palm Center today also released this memo providing a concise summary of facts on transgender military service and implications of the latest court actions.