Appeals court upholds Trump's trans ban in military

Sunday, January 6, 2019
Michael F. Haverluck (

U.S. Army saluteThe United States Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C., put a rare stop on transgender activism sweeping through the judicial system by overturning a lower court’s ruling that blocked President Donald Trump’s partial ban on “transgenders” in the military.

The commander-in-chief has argued that making special accommodations for gender-confused troops on military bases caused a distraction from combat preparedness and diverted resources and funds away from the battlefield, and the judges agreed in their decision – at least in part.

“In light of the substantial constitutional arguments and the apparent showing that the policy accommodates at least some of plaintiffs’ interests, we think that the public interest weighs in favor of dissolving the injunction,” the five-page ruling by the three-judge panel of the appellate court reads.


"[This decision] is encouraging because a three-judge panel of the court of appeals must have read the Constitution. Article 3 says that the President of the United States – the Commander in Chief – and Congress have the power to run the military .... Judges do not have the power to make policy for the military.

"A petition is sitting before the Supreme Court [that includes several injunctions related to the transgender military question]. They'll probably take it up in the next several weeks, and we'll see whether they will take up the appeal. Given this ruling – and the fact that three other court cases are contrary to it – makes a pretty good case for the Supreme Court to intervene."

Elaine Donnelly, president
Center for Military Readiness

Military to protect country, not promote agendas

Family Research Council (FRC) Executive Vice President Lt. Gen. William Boykin applauded the appellate court’s ruling.

“This is a victory for our servicemembers who are tasked with defending America because it allows our military to focus their mission on fighting and winning wars – rather than social engineering,” Boykin proclaimed, according to WND. “The Constitution very clearly delegates to the commander-in-chief the job of running the military – not the courts.” 

He celebrated the fact that Trump is focused on strengthening the U.S. Armed forces instead of weakening it, as former President Barack Obama did through dissolving it and using its resources to push the LGBT agenda.

“The appeals court ruling helps pave the way for President Trump to continue moving the military away from Obama-era political correctness, which left our nation’s defenses at its lowest levels of readiness since before WWII,” Boykin continued. “There is no basis for the courts to take up President Obama’s mission to divert taxpayer dollars from mission-critical training to funding for controversial gender reassignment surgeries for service members.”

The military veteran is confident that moving forward, the judicial system will continue to recognize the role of the military, which is ensure the nation’s security – not apportion its much-needed resources to provide special privileges for self-proclaimed transgender troops.

“We trust that other appeals courts reviewing this policy, and the Supreme Court, will agree and leave the responsibility for keeping our military strong and country safe where it belongs – with our commander-in-chief,” Boykin concluded.

Most U.S. service members (61 percent) agree that transgenders should not be allowed to serve in the military, according to a Smithsonian survey mentioned by FRC.

Not a complete ban, but a good one …

It was pointed out by Liberty Counsel that the Court of Appeals stood in agreement with the Trump administration’s assertion that former Defense Secretary James Mattis’ plan did not bar all transgenders from serving in the military.

“It ruled that District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly made a ‘clear error’ in deciding that the injunction should stay in place,” Liberty Counsel stated, according to WND. “The court stated that Mattis’ plan was not ‘foreordained’ by Trump because it took into account a panel of military and medical experts, evidence from the implementation of the open service policy, and ‘a reassessment of the priorities of the group that produced’ the open service policy.”

On another note, Liberty Counsel Founder Mat Staver explained why they ruling works toward the military’s advantage.

“The decision to overturn the ban on ‘transgender’ people in the military is a victory for our servicemembers who cannot serve and protect America when they are forced to function with confusion, dysfunction and distraction,” Staver contended. “The report from the Defense Department concludes that 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. It is not a right, but a privilege, to serve.”

Keeping his promise …

Last spring, Trump addressed the issue by disqualifying transgenders for military service.

“[The defense secretary and the homeland security secretary should] exercise their authority to implement any appropriate policies concerning military service by transgender individuals,” Trump declared in a memo he issued last March, according to WND. “[Those] who may require substantial medical treatment – including through medical drugs or surgery [due to gender dysphoria are disqualified from military service – except for some circumstances].”

Mattis’ implementation plan let transgenders already serving in the military at the time continue their service – as long as they served as their biological gender.

“[Transgenders posing as the opposite sex] could undermine readiness, disrupt unit cohesion and impose an unreasonable burden on the military that is not conducive to military effectiveness and lethality,” Mattis found at the time, according to WND.

Less than 1,000 soldiers identifying as transgender in the military were not affected by the ban.

“Mattis’s plan makes exceptions, for instance, for about 900 transgender individuals who are already serving openly and for others who would serve in accordance with their birth gender,” The Washington Post reported.

During the first year of his presidency, Trump briefly outlined his reasoning for the partial ban.

“[Transgenders in the military pose] tremendous medical costs and disruption,” Trump tweeted in July 2017.

LGBT lamenting a rare defeat

After the appellate court’s ruling, the two LGBT groups that originally challenged the Trump administration’s ban in court condemned the decision.

National Center for Lesbian Rights Legal Director Shannon Minter did not take the setback originally dealt by the Trump administration well.

“Today’s ruling is a devastating slap in the face to transgender service members who have proved their fitness to serve and their dedication to this country,” Minter complained, according to USA Today

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi also attempted to dub the ruling as a “civil rights” setback against so-called “LGBT rights.”

“Today’s decision is based on the absurd idea that forcing transgender people to suppress who they are in order to serve is not a ban,” Levi lamented.

Legal battles waged against Trump by LGBT activists across America are not expected to relent any time soon.  

“President Donald Trump is facing several different lawsuits that allege the ban is discriminatory,” USA Today announced.

1/7/2019 - Sidebar added.

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