Barack Obama issued an order allowing transgenders to serve openly in the military, and the courts were silent.
But when President Trump decided to reverse the longstanding policy, judges found a role in the argument and blocked him.
Now the White House is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to jump into the argument as soon as possible.
The Washington Times reported on Friday that Solicitor General Noel Francisco told the court the administration had carefully thought out its policy and decided that limits on transgender troops are “in the best interests of national security and the courts should defer to that judgment.”
No appeals courts have ruled yet, although three district court judges have ruled against Trump.
The Times reported Francisco said the administration doesn’t want to wait for the slow appeals process, insisting the matter is urgent.
“It involves an issue of imperative public importance: the authority of the U.S. military to determine who may serve in the nation’s armed forces,” he said.
Just before the 2016 election, Obama Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter lifted a longstanding ban, declaring transgender individuals could serve openly in the military.
That sometimes put the American taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in sex-change costs for those individuals.
Because of the treatments, they also would be undeployable for much of their time in the military.
Multiple lawsuits were filed by activists last year when Trump announced he was instructing the military to restore its previous practice.
WND reported in August that a judge in one of those cases said it could move forward without Trump as a defendant.
At the time, 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.
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 favoring transgender-rights activism.
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.
An expert on military preparedness criticized the judge.
“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, 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.”
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.”