Trump administration wants a lawsuit against trans military ban thrown out

Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Trans citizens, currently serving or otherwise, have already been negatively affected.

Earlier this year President Trump was met with immediate backlash when he tweeted about his decision to bar transgendered individuals from serving in the United States military.

“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,” he stated.

As a result, active service members and those attempting to join have pushed to file civil rights lawsuits against the decision.

Despite this, the Trump administration is still moving forward with plans to block new recruitment, and this week filed a brief which urged a court to drop a legal suit against the transgender military ban.

In the case Stockman v. Trump, Equality California and several transgender troops are represented against Trump’s Department of Justice.

They argue that thousands will face real harm because of the President’s decision.

Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights said: “The Trump administration has launched an unprecedented attack on thousands of dedicated service members.

“And today, the Department of Justice turned a blind eye to the devastation caused by this ban to our troops currently serving and to qualified, courageous transgender Americans who wish to enlist.

Related: Trump’s trans military ban estimated to cost $960 million

 

“Real people are suffering, and every day that goes by, the damage to service members and their families is more severe.”

The goal of the lawsuit is to seek emergency relief for those negatively impacted by the ban including seven plaintiffs, either currently serving or attempting to serve.

Among them is Aidan Stockman, a 20-year-old form Yucca Valley, California. After taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test in high school, he determined he wanted to join the Air Force.

The grocery store where Aiden is employed is shutting down, but he is unable to pursue an alternative career path with the Air Force as he planned, because of the transgender ban.

Four unnamed plaintiffs are currently serving in the US armed forces and fear expulsion.

A separate brief, filed by Trump’s Justice Department to the District Court for the District of Columbia, pleads for the court to dismiss any request for an immediate injunction against the transgender ban.

The brief states that: “A variety of physical and mental conditions presumptively bar entry into the armed forces, including asthma, history of severe migraines, discrepancies in leg-length resulting in a limp, or any curvature of the spine that would prevent one from wearing a uniform properly.

“Reasonable people could disagree over whether these individuals should be able to serve. But that does not mean that the President or military leadership harbors animus towards these individuals.

Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Related: Donald Trump gives US military six months to ban trans soldiers

“Because Plaintiffs lack standing and their claims are not ripe, the Court should not consider Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction.

“The Court’s review of Plaintiffs’ preliminary injunction motion should begin and end with a consideration of whether they are likely to suffer irreparable injury.”

“To show that a preliminary injunction is warranted, Plaintiffs must demonstrate ‘that irreparable injury is likely in the absence of an injunction’, regardless of the likelihood of success on the merits of their claims. They cannot do so.”

“To the extent Plaintiffs seek to attack the ongoing policy-making process, their claims similarly lack merit.”

Despite actions by Trump’s Justice Department to defend the administration’s decision, President Trump still faces tremendous upheaval from LGBT+ citizens.

Trans activists such as Caitlyn Jenner called this administration the “worst ever” for LGBT+ rights.

A court hearing is still set to take place on 20 November.

Words Kevin Kissane

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