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Supreme Court allows U.S. military transgender ban to go into effect

Supreme Court allows U.S. military transgender ban to go into effect
[Photo: Flickr user Ted Eytan]

Like a plot line from a bad horror movie, the Trump administration’s ban on transgender service members simply will not die.

The ban, which President Trump announced on Twitter, generally prohibits transgender people from serving in the military, although it does make an exception for the people already serving openly and for those willing to serve “in their biological sex.” Soon after the policy was announced, the ACLU filed a lawsuit claiming the ban violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection and due process.

While all lower courts had ruled that the ban was unconstitutional, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed a district court’s injunction against a version of the policy initially put forth by then-secretary of defense James Mattis, which barred most transgender people from service. The Supreme Court announced Tuesday morning that the ban can go into effect while cases challenging the ban proceed.

In a 5-4 ruling (of course), the court issued a stay of lower courts’ injunctions against the policy, which means the ban can be enforced while the courts continue to debate its constitutionality.

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