The Supreme Court on Tuesday voted 5-4 in favor of allowing the Trump administration's transgender military ban to go into effect, while the lower courts continue to deliberate the legality of the ban.
Despite the court’s ruling, the ban will not yet be implemented as a national injunction is still in effect from case in a Maryland U.S. District Court. A statement from the Pentagon released Wednesday said that the Department of Justice is seeking to lift that injunction.
President Donald Trump first proposed the ban in a July 2017 tweet, about a year after the Obama administration announced that transgender people could openly serve in the 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,” Trump's wrote in the tweet.
Trump’s original ban was not upheld by the courts and was rewritten by then Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in March 2018, which is the current iteration of the ban. Mattis’ rewrite bans anyone with gender dysphoria — when a person identifies as a different gender than the one they were assigned at birth — and is actively seeking a gender transition.
National security expert Juliette Kayyem called the ban “cruel” on Boston Public Radio Wednesday.
“The idea that when someone is saving your life — a medic might be transgender — is the last thing that you're thinking about when you have been harmed,” Kayyem said.
Kayyem said Trump’s desire to ban this small, discrete group, who do not have a lot of rights to being with, is "shameful." She also said that the people who would be banned are volunteering their service and their lives, not a “five-time draft dodger, like the president himself.”
Kayyem believes that this ban is laying the foundation for the Trump administration to ban women from combat in an attempt to appeal to Trump’s base by promoting traditional gender roles.
“Men view women as too noisy, too transparent, and he is going to go after women in combat and women in the military next. The idea that this stops with LGBTQ is ridiculous,” Kayyem said.