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US judge blocks transgender military ban

Publish date: 10 August 2018
Issue Number: 4520
Diary: Legalbrief Today
Category: Litigation

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia upheld an injunction this week blocking a presidential memorandum that would prohibit transgender individuals from entering the military. According to a Jurist report, the memorandum was issued in August 2017. A plan for its implementation was issued by General James Mattis in February. The defendants sought to dismiss the complaint, issue a summary judgment and dissolve the preliminary injunction. Because the Mattis implementation plan provided an exception for members already serving in the military, the defendants argued that most of the plaintiffs did not have standing because they would not be harmed by the plan. However, the court found that the plan would still single out the transgender members and ‘mark them as categorically unfit for military service’. The court explained that ‘by singling these plaintiffs out and stigmatising them as members of an inherently inferior class of service members, the Mattis plan causes plaintiffs grave non-economic injuries that are alone sufficient to confer standing’. The court stated that it was ‘still concerned that the President’s 2017 directives constituted an abrupt reversal in policy, and a revocation of rights, announced without any of the formality, deliberative process, or factual support usually associated with such a significant action’. The court also removed President Donald Trump as a party in the lawsuit. The plaintiffs were found to still be able to obtain ‘relevant and appropriate discovery related to the President without the President included in the lawsuit'.

Full Jurist report