President Donald Trump, eager to avoid a protracted congressional fight over how much the U.S. should be spending to make sure transgender soldiers get the transition surgery they need to…you know…cross to the other side of the fence, made things simple in August by declaring them unfit for service. In an executive order that was immediately met with pushback from the LGBT community, Trump barred transgender individuals from serving in the military, undoing an Obama order from the previous year that would have lifted those restrictions.
Somehow, though, a federal judge in Washington has decided that by changing the government’s policy back to what it has been for the last 200+ years, he has violated the rights of transgender Americans. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly blocked Trump’s order on Monday with an opinion that plaintiffs suing the administration were likely to reign victorious.
The plaintiffs, according the Kollar-Kotelly, had established that they would be harmed by Trump’s order and she came to the determination that the directive was probably unconstitutionally discriminatory against transgender soldiers. Without providing sufficient evidence to support the ban, she wrote, the president’s orders “do not appear to be supported by any facts.”
“The federal courts are recognizing what everyone already knows to be true: President Trump’s impulsive decision to ban on transgender people from serving in the military service was blatantly unconstitutional,” said Joshua Block, an attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project, who are the plaintiffs in the case.
The block will not end the case. The lawsuits will move forward in the meantime, and the Trump Justice Department appears willing to defend the president’s orders to the bitter end. It remains to be seen what, if any, support the administration will get from the Pentagon, which has been deliberately slow-walking the directives since they were issued this summer. In her ruling, Kollar-Kotelly actually pointed out the military’s seeming lack of support for the president’s orders when coming to her decision to block the ban from playing out.
The disturbing part of this ruling, of course, is not necessarily that transgender recruits will continue to be allowed into the military. It is that Judge Kollar-Kotelly has given legal weight to the absurd idea that “gender identity” is a constitutionally-protected grouping. This is nearly as ridiculous as protecting the mentally insane from hiring discrimination, and it essentially weakens the ability of employers – military and civilian alike – from using ANY form of discrimination when hiring, no matter how reasonable it is. Want a job? Just take it! By the time these liberals are done playing with the Constitution, there will be no legally-admissible reason for an employer to turn you down.