The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday
allowed President Donald Trump's ban on transgender troops to go into
effect as several cases challenging the policy move forward.
The court sided with the government in
a 5-4 order.
In a series of tweets in July 2017,
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 in
federal courts challenging the ban.
After several setbacks in lower courts,
the administration modified its policy to allow transgender troops to
serve provided they do so as the sex they were assigned at birth.
Lt. Col. Carla Gleason, a Pentagon
spokesperson, told CNN in a statement that the Department of
Defense's proposed policy is “NOT a ban on service by transgender
But CNN reported that the court's
action means “most transgender persons are now disqualified from
Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court
analyst and professor of law at the University of Texas School of
Law, said that Tuesday's action suggests the court will eventually
rule in favor of the policy.
“[T]he fact that the Court is
allowing the policy to go into effect suggests not only that it will
eventually take the case on the merits, but also that five of the
justices believe the government is likely to prevail if and when that
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights groups, said in a statement that the
policy “harms both transgender service members and our national
“As this critical matter makes its
way through the courts, brave transgender patriots deserve to have
their constitutional rights protected. Today's decision thrusts this
administration’s discriminatory agenda onto a military that clearly
doesn't want it, and does so at the expense of transgender people's
careers and service,” said HRC National Press Secretary Sarah