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US Appeals Court Denies Stay of Transgender Military Ban

23 December 2017

The D.C. Circuit has rebuffed a request to delay trans military enlistments. That memo details how the military would process transgender recruits.

The same three-judge 9th Circuit panel, which limited a previous version of Trump's ban, heard arguments earlier this month.

Kollar-Kotelly was the first judge to issue a preliminary injunction against Donald Trump's transgender military ban, blocking it from going into effect while lawsuits proceed, in the case of Doe v. Trump.

Trump's ban also covers people from North Korea and certain government officials from Venezuela, but the lower courts had already allowed those provisions to go into effect.

Trump later formally directed the Pentagon to extend indefinitely a ban on transgender individuals joining the military, and he gave Defense Secretary Jim Mattis six months to come up with a policy on how to deal with those now serving.

The Obama administration had set a deadline of July 1, 2017, to begin accepting transgender recruits, but Trump's defense secretary, James Mattis, postponed that date to January 1. "Experience has shown that allowing qualified transgender candidates to serve strengthens our military and our country". This most recent version of the ban was introduced in September. "The military is ready, the country is ready, and the courts have weighed in". Our country needs them.

"No current service member", it orders, "may be separated, denied reenlistment, demoted, denied promotion, denied medically necessary treatment on a timely basis, or otherwise subjected to adverse treatment or differential terms of service on the basis that they are transgender".

The Government argues that the President, at any time and under any circumstances, could bar entry of all aliens from any country, and intensifies the consequences of its position by saying that no federal court-not a federal district court, nor our court of appeals, nor even the Supreme Court itself-would have Article III jurisdiction to review that matter because of the consular nonreviewability doctrine.

Lauren Ehrsam, a Justice Department spokesperson, had the same comment on the D.C. Circuit decision that she had on the Fourth Circuit denial of a stay. U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman this month became the third judge to issue such an injunction.

President Donald Trump's restrictions on travel to the USA from six mostly Muslim countries, Venezuela and North Korea were largely struck down by a federal appeals court, raising uncertainty as the fight heads for a final showdown at the U.S.

"Given the shockingly rapid volley of executive actions and court decisions, this is surely just the latest in a long series of battles to come".

US Appeals Court Denies Stay of Transgender Military Ban