A case over whether President Trump can reverse a policy decision made by Barack Obama will go forward, according to a federal judge’s ruling.
But it will go forward without Trump as a defendant.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said she was unconvinced by the government’s argument that Trump has the authority to reverse Obama’s policy to allow transgendered persons in the U.S. military.
Trump had tweeted that Obama’s policy was being reversed, but several individuals from the military sued.
The government had wanted a preliminary order preventing implementation of Trump’s policy dissolved and the complaint dismissed based on an amended version of the transgender decision that recently was released.
The judge, who has been accused of acting as “supreme judicial commander of the military” as well as issuing “bizarre rulings favoring transgender plaintiffs … without any constitutional authorization,” said the case will remain as it is for now, with the preliminary injunction and plans for further hearings.
“The court found that a number of factors – including the breadth of the exclusion ordered by the directives, the unusual circumstances surrounding the president’s announcement of them, the fact that the reasons given for them did not appear to be supported by any facts, and the recent rejection of those reasons by the military itself – strongly suggested that plaintiffs’ Fifth Amendment claim was meritorious,” the judge said.
She disregarded the fact that Defense Secretary James Mattis had narrowed the ban in March, as well as a report finding transgender service members unfit for service.
She said the government likened “gender dysphoria” to “bipolar disorder, personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, suicidal behavior, and even body dysmorphic disorder,” arguing the claim was “denounced” by the American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association, both organizations on the pro-transgender bandwagon.
She not only ruled that the president can be dismissed from the case, she said the plaintiffs will not have an opportunity to question him.
The case brought by a number of transgenders in the military, or aspiring to join, has generated considerable controversy already, especially since president generally have the authority to change a policy imposed by a previous president.
An expert on military preparedness pointed out, following an earlier ruling, the judge’s failings.
“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 Garbis, a Baltimore judge, also ruled Obama was qualified to make decisions regarding transgender enlistment but Trump was not.
Garbis even said taxpayers must pay for transgender surgeries.
Donnelly contended 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.
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.
“The issue here is not civil rights; it is combat lethality and the armed forces’ readiness to defend America,” she said.
A Defense Department report commissioned by Trump concluded there are substantial risks to military effectiveness and readiness regarding people who have gender dysphoria.
“The military is not a social club but rather a fine-tuned fighting machine of men and women who defend our freedom,” said Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel. “It is not a right but a privilege to serve.”
The comment came when Trump rescinded his order for a comprehensive ban on transgender troops, issuing a policy that will follow the recommendations of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and allow some to serve.
Transgender people who have not transitioned to a different gender or been diagnosed with gender dysphoria will be allowed to join and serve under the modified ban.
It was Obama’s policy in June 2016 that reversed long-standing military rules against transgender people in the U.S. Armed Forces.