WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed President Trump’s transgender military ban to go into effect as the appeals process continues in lower courts.
The court granted stays of injunctions by U.S. District Court judges in California and Washington state, but refused to hear immediate appeals of court rulings around the country blocking implementation of the policy. The court did not yet rule on the merits of the case, but is expected to do so in the future.
The Japanese American Citizens League said in a statement, “JACL condemns any attempt to infringe upon the civil rights of transgender people and to discriminate on the basis of gender. People seeking only to serve their country should not be barred from doing so on the basis of gender; this violates the values of inclusion and equal rights for all that our society espouses.
“Beyond this, JACL recalls when Japanese Americans were barred from military service at the outset of WWII and urges that this country should not repeat that mistake.”
JACL spoke out against the proposed ban when it was first announced in July 2017.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a combat veteran, released the following statement:
“When I was bleeding to death in my Black Hawk helicopter on that dusty field in Iraq, I didn’t care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender, black, white, male or female. All that mattered was they didn’t leave me behind. If you are willing to risk your life for our country and you can do the job, you should be able to serve — no matter your gender identity or sexual orientation.
“Today’s decision is disheartening not only because it will help the Trump Administration discriminate against an ever-shrinking portion of our population who are willing to serve in uniform, but also because it enables the administration to further disrupt to our military and weaken our national security.
“I hope the court takes up this case and loudly and clearly tells the administration that this sort of discrimination has no place in our military, and I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Congress will send the same message and show our servicemembers that we have their backs.”