Posted by: Rainbow411 / GSHRadio on 08/10/2017

Why the First Lawsuit Against Trump’s Trans Troops Ban Is So Ingenious

Why the First Lawsuit Against Trump’s Trans Troops Ban Is So Ingenious

By Mark Joseph Stern - AUG. 9 2017 12:40 PM 

Photo: Rainbow411./ GSHRadio 

On Wednesday, two LGBTQ rights groups filed the first lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s proposed ban on transgender service members. An estimated 15,000 trans individuals are already in the U.S. military, and Trump’s ban, announced via Twitter, would seem to require their immediate discharge. The complaint, filed on behalf of five trans women now serving openly, claims such a purge would violate their constitutional rights. The suit makes a very sound legal argument. It’s also a clever mechanism to force the government to reveal how serious it is about enforcing Trump’s tweeted diktat.

rump announced his ban without consultation with the Pentagon, which has declined to implement any new policy absent further guidance from the White House. On Friday, the Los Angeles Blade reportedon a draft of such guidance that has apparently received the approval of the White House Counsel’s office. The draft guidance would maintain the current bar on enrollment for trans people, which had been set to be lifted this July. It would also encourage trans troops who are already serving to retire as soon as possible, push out enlisted personnel once their contracts end, and terminate officers up for promotion.

In their lawsuit, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) allege the White House has turned Trump’s tweets into “official guidance … to be communicated to the Department of Defense.” They argue that this guidance infringes upon the equal protection and due process rights of trans troops. According to their complaint, the “categorical exclusion of transgender people from military service … based on their sex and transgender status” lacks any rational basis and is therefore too “arbitrary” to comport with the Fifth Amendment’s equal protection component. Moreover, the policy would deprive transgender service members of their property and liberty interests based exclusively on their gender identity, a “capricious” deprivation of due process.

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