Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN Sue Trump Over Transgender Military Service Ban


We knew on Nov. 9 that the courts were our only hope moving forward. Although the highest one in the land eventually let us down on the Muslim "travel" ban -- has the administration "figured out what's going on" yet? -- suing is all we can do. And suing we are over Trump's latest assault on the LGBTQ community and the U.S. Constitution.

Lambda Legal reports:
Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filed a federal lawsuit on Monday challenging the constitutionality of the Trump administration’s ban on military service by transgender individuals.

The lawsuit — brought in response to President Trump’s formal issuance of directions to military authorities late Friday — was filed on behalf of two individuals who seek to join the military; one current service member who seeks appointment as an officer; the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy organization; and Gender Justice League, a gender and sexuality civil and human rights organization, headquartered in Seattle.

“This ban not only wrongfully prevents patriotic, talented Americans from serving, it also compromises the safety and security of our country,” Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Peter Renn said.

“Thousands of current service members are transgender, and many have been serving openly, courageously and successfully in the U.S. military for more than a year — not to mention the previous decades when many were forced to serve in silence," Renn added. "Once again attacking a vulnerable population based on bias, political opportunism and demonstrably untrue ‘alternative facts,’ President Trump is denying brave men and women the opportunity to serve our country without any legitimate justification whatsoever.”

“We promised that we would sue if the president took this action. The law is on our side; justice is on our side," said Peter Perkowski, Legal Director for OutServe-SLDN. "And we are on the side of every single transgender service member and those who want to serve. The nation’s courts exist to protect the people whom tyrants would otherwise abuse. Trump can’t tweet his way out of this one.”

Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filed the lawsuit Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
Major legal scholars say the ban is indeed unconstitutional. But my understanding is the commander in chief has enormous amount leeway on such matters -- and god knows the Supreme Court's makeup isn't as friendly as it should be after the death of Antonin Scalia. (F**king Mitch McConnell is truly evil.) The only silver lining I see in this is that maybe General James Mattis -- who doesn't exactly run the Donald Trump Fan Club -- won't expel existing trans service members and the ban for new recruits can always be lifted again when a non-lunatic takes office, whenever that is. It shouldn't have to be this way. But a small group of morons in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan thought they knew better than former presidents and vice presidents, state and territorial governors, U.S. senators and representatives, former members of the federal judiciary, dozens of federal department officials -- current and former -- ambassadors, U.S. attorneys, media advisers, operatives, pollsters, numerous Republican figures as well as every newspaper editorial board in the nation.

UPDATE: Is Mattis plotting to undermine the whole transphobic scheme? Read HERE.

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