The Trump administration’s relentless crusade against the rights of the trans community in the United States. The attorney general has filed a petition with the Supreme Court to make a decision on his order to exclude trans people from the Army. The norm is temporarily paralyzed after four district courts have admitted to processing as many lawsuits against it. The Trump government aims to accelerate its entry into force, bypassing the appellate courts that should decide on these processes. Go directly in its place to the highest judicial instance, controlled since October by the conservative sector.
Discrimination against trans people is, at this moment, the main objective in the anti-LGBT agenda of the administration of Donald Trump and his vice president Mike Pence. In July of 2017, the president announced on the social network Twitter his decision to exclude them from the Army. The message was made effective a few weeks later by an order transmitted to the departments of Defense and Interior. The document, which can be accessed here , ordered an end to the process of deployment of anti-discrimination regulations, which was to culminate the month of January 2018, and resume the situation prior to June 2016.. The incorporation of new trans people to the Army was banned and the financing of their reassignment treatments was interrupted, except for those cases that were in the process.
As expected, lawsuits by trans people who serve or want to serve in the Army and civil rights associations quickly began to be filed. The first one, Doe v. Trump argues that the ban violates the 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees the right to equal treatment by law and “due process.” Argument that the federal judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, of the District of Columbia, not only deemed relevant, but considered that it is very likely to grant the victory to the plaintiffs. That is why in early November of last year issued a ruling in which precautionary suspension of the application of the order of Trump until justice was pronounced definitively. Kollar-Kotelly, however, did not consider itself competent to stop the suspension of the financing of the reassignment treatments in view of the arguments of the claim.
He did, three weeks later, federal judge Marvin J. Garbis , in the state of Maryland, in response to another lawsuit ( Stone v. Trump ). Judge Garbis ordered the precautionary stoppage of the Trump order including the suspension of the funding of the reassignment treatments. In December of 2017, a third federal judge, Marsha Pechman, of the state of Washington, pronounced in the same sense in the Karnoski v. Case . Trump. In this case, in addition, Judge Pechman considered that the prohibition of serving in the Army would not only violate the 5th Amendment, but also the 1st Amendment, which guarantees freedom of expression, by discriminating against trans people who serve in the Army. force them to keep the secret to keep their jobs. An argument that until now had not been considered by the other judges. Pechman also ordered the precautionary stoppage of the ban and the return to the status quo prior to Trump’s order.
Almost at the same time that Judge Pechman’s decision in Washington State was known, her colleague from the District of Columbia Colleen Kollar-Kotelly denied the Trump administration’s request to delay the precautionary suspension of the president’s order that she herself had organized. A denial that was appealed by the federal administration before the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia, the “intermediate step” between the federal district judges and the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the presidency issued in March of this year a new memorandum in which all types of restrictions are established on transsexual people who want to live according to their gender identity. The Pentagon clarified, yes, that for the moment Trans men and women will be able to continue serving or getting ready in the Armed Forces while they solve the courts .
A temporary situation to which the Trump administration wants to end as soon as possible. That is why last Friday, Attorney General Noel Francisco appealed to the Supreme Court to ask him to decide on the precautionary suspensions that are in force. The White House bypasses the Courts of Appeals, the instances that should resolve the processes under way, and goes directly to the highest judicial body in the United States. This is the fourth time that Trump uses this shortcut, with which he intends to avoid a possible sentence against discrimination by the Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit, a frequent target of the president’s criticism for his presumed liberal tendency and that he should decide on three of the demands.
Trump’s attacks on the Ninth Circuit have prompted even an unusual response from the Supreme Court’s president, conservative John Roberts, vindicating the independence of the judiciary. A Supreme with a conservative majority . after the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to cover the vacancy generated by the retirement of Anthony Kennedy. The new majority can be extended for decades and will be able to model at will the jurisprudence in a restrictive sense in matters such as access to abortion or the end of legal discrimination of the LGBT community. In short, an unflattering picture for the inclusion of trans people in the Army in the future.