The Trump administration on Thursday
asked the Supreme Court to allow its ban on transgender troops to
In a series of tweets last summer,
President Donald Trump declared that the military will no longer
“accept or allow” transgender troops to serve “in any
capacity,” reversing Obama-era policy on transgender individuals
serving in the military.
LGBT activists filed four lawsuits
challenging the ban, three of which have resulted in preliminary
injunctions blocking the ban from taking effect. Two appellate
courts have upheld those injunctions.
U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco
on Thursday took the unusual step of turning to the Supreme Court for
relief before appeals have been exhausted at the appellate level.
The government is attempting to jump the line in an effort to reach a
conclusion before the high court ends its current term.
Francisco asked the high court to allow
the ban to take effect immediately.
“Even if the government were
immediately to seek certiorari from an adverse decision of the
court of appeals, this court would not be able to review that
decision until next term,” the government wrote in one of its
filings. “Absent a stay, the nationwide injunction would thus
remain in place for at least another year and likely well into 2020 –
a period too long for the military to be forced to maintain a policy
that it has determined in its professional judgment to be contrary to
the nation's interests.”
Shannon Minter, legal director at the
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), called the
administration's filings “appalling.”
“Basing military policy on animus
toward a particular group of people sets a terrible precedent that
undermines the integrity of military decision making,” Minter
said. “There is no legal basis for a stay, and we are hopeful
this belated and unsupported motion will be speedily denied.”