A federal judge – already criticized for acting as the “supreme judicial commander of the military” by usurping the president’s authority – doubled down Monday on her ruling allowing transgenders to enlist in the military.
Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly refused Monday to drop the temporary halt she issued on President Trump’s order to reverse President Obama’s policy.
The judge ordered the military to accept transgender enlistees by Jan. 1.
Kollar-Kotelly explained her refusal to drop the temporary halt on Trump’s order.
“Having carefully considered all of the evidence before it, the court is not persuaded that defendants will be irreparably injured by allowing the accession of transgender individuals into the military,” she wrote.
However, an expert on military preparedness contends the judge is off base.
“Acting as ‘supreme judicial commander of the military,’ [Kollar-Kotelly] issued an order directing President Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis to reinstate Obama-era mandates to retain and induct new transgender recruits,” explained Elaine Donnelly, president of the nonpartisan Center for Military Readiness.
“The U.S. Constitution does not grant to any federal judge powers to make policy for the military,” Donnelly wrote. “The judges’ bizarre rulings favoring transgender plaintiffs were issued without any constitutional authorization, and they are a direct affront to the authority of the commander in chief.”
She noted that in addition to Kollar-Kotelly, who “threw all protocols to the wind” in her decision “favoring six transgender plaintiffs,” Marvin Garbus, a Baltimore judge, also ruled Obama was qualified to make decision regarding transgender enlistment but Trump was not.
Garbus even said taxpayers must pay for transgender surgeries.
Donnelly said Trump “has the right, and the responsibility, to resist these activists court rulings and more than may be handed down in the coming months.”
“The commander in chief also has the right, and the responsibility, to restore sound Defense Department polities that were in place long before President Obama took office,” Donnelly said.
She suggested the administration should seek stays from higher courts in those cases.
“Failure to act would shift control of our military to unaccountable, activist judges and convey the devastating message that the administration does not have the political will to do what President Trump promised the voters he would do – end political correctness in the military,” she wrote.
“Never in our history have the American armed forces enlisted open transgenders in the military, and federal judges should not be allowed to order them to do so. Secretary Mattis’ hands are tied in judicial matters, since any action on his part could be construed as contempt,” she said.
She said the Department of Justice, headed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has the responsibility to defend Trump’s “constitutional prerogatives in matters involving the armed forces.”
Trump, when he made the change, simply returned “to the longstanding policy and practice on military service by transgender individuals that was in place prior to June 2016,” Donnelly explained.
If the district courts are unwilling to cooperate, she said, the administration should go immediately to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The transgender issue is just as important as the travel ban issue for the same reasons: national security and separation of powers,” Donnelly said. “The Justice Department should do in the transgender cases what the department did in the immigration travel ban cases: seek a stay to allow time to make principled arguments based on national security, not social causes.”
Donnelly’s group said last summer that Obama’s policy defied “science and common sense while enforcing Pentagon PC groupthink.”
“All insist that gender is ‘assigned’ at birth and can be ‘re-assigned’ with changes in appearance.”
Obama also forced “military commanders and medical personnel to approve or provide hormone treatments or surgical operations that do not change gender-determining human DNA or reduce psychological risks, regardless of their own convictions or concerns about medical ethics.”
Those requirements “detract from readiness, deployability and morale.”
“The issue here is not civil rights; it is combat lethality and the armed forces’ readiness to defend America,” CMR said.