The Trump Administration filed petitions before judgment today in three cases challenging Trump’s transgender military ban: Doe v. Trump, Stockman v. Trump, and Karnoski v. Trump. The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), who represent plaintiffs in both Doe and Stockman and were the first to challenge the ban, characterized the filing as an unusual attempt by the administration to bypass the standard appeals process.
There are four lawsuits in total challenging the transgender military ban, and all four federal courts to hear these cases have issued preliminary injunctions halting the ban from moving forward while the case is being heard in court. In issuing the preliminary injunctions, the courts each determined that the plaintiffs challenging the ban—who include current servicemembers, ROTC and military academy students and enlistees—would ultimately prevail. If the Supreme Court were to grant the administration’s request, it would consider this term whether to lift the injunction while the cases proceed in the lower courts. Excluding transgender people who meet military standards undermines readiness and would dramatically upend the lives and families of thousands of trans servicemembers and enlistees, and disrupt the military as a whole.
“There is no urgency here and no reason for the Court to weigh in at this juncture,” said Jennifer Levi, GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director. “The injunctions preserve the status quo of the open service policy that was thoroughly vetted by the military itself and has been in place now for more than two years. This is simply one more attempt by a reckless Trump administration to push through a discriminatory policy. The policy flies in the face of military research and dozens of top military experts.”