DOJ Petitions SCOTUS To Hear Transgender Military Ban

The Washington Post reports:

The Trump administration on Friday once again asked the Supreme Court to bypass the usual legal process to take on another controversial issue — President Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from military service.

Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco asked the justices to consolidate the challenges to the ban — which so far have been successful in lower courts — and rule on the issue in its current term.

The challenges are to the administration’s order that would prohibit transgender men and women from enlisting, possibly subject current service members to discharge and deny certain medical care. The order reverses an Obama administration policy allowing transgender men and women to serve openly and to receive funding for sex-reassignment surgery.

Bloomberg Law reports:

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in October 2017 granted an injunction that blocked the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security from implementing the ban.

In August 2018 she rejected the Trump administration’s request to dissolve the injunction after it reworked the ban. Denying enlistment and discharging transgender people likely would be found to be unconstitutional discrimination, Kollar-Kotelly said.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to consider during its Nov. 30 conference whether to grant review in a separate case that asks whether transgender discrimination violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s ban on sex discrimination in employment. The DOJ argues that employers may discriminate based on transgender status without running afoul of the act.