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Fourth Cir. Refuses to Stay Injunction on Transgender Military Ban

By George Khoury, Esq. on December 22, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to lift the preliminary injunction blocking President Trump's Executive Order seeking to prohibit transgender individuals from serving in the military. The Stone v. Trump matter is one of a few cases the administration is fighting out over the hastily demanded ban on transgender individuals in the military.

Back in November, a Maryland federal district court granted challengers of President Trump's anti-Transgender proclamation a preliminary injunction to block the executive order from going into effect until the litigation concluded. Similarly to the anti-Muslim travel bans that President Trump struggled with, every court to touch the transgender military ban has blocked it.

What's Gender Got to Do With It?

Back in July, President Trump tweeted out his plan to kick out transgender individuals serving in the military. Interestingly, he had not actually talked to the top brass within the military to see if it was even a palatable idea, let alone a good one, economically and strategically.

Notably, General Mattis, the current Secretary of Defense, put the policy on hold himself, and reportedly was appalled by the policy. The Secretary explained that more information and study was needed prior to implementing such a policy, particularly in regards to what the potential impact would be. Furthermore, one of the more controversial issues raised by this policy is Trump's belief that the federal government should not pay for a serviceman's gender reassignment surgery. As Lambda Legal pointed out almost immediately after the policy was announced, it is "unsupported by any compelling, important, or even rational justification."

Appealing to the Top

Now that the Fourth Circuit has issued a ruling (albeit a short, less than one page ruling authored by a clerk), it is highly likely that the Trump administration will be looking to take their qualm to SCOTUS, seeking another emergency order to stay the lower federal district court's preliminary injunction.

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