Select Page

A D.C. federal district court yesterday issued a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the portions of President Trump’s Memorandum on Military Service by Transgender Individuals that would have prevented enlistment and service by transgender persons.  In a 76-page decision in Jane Doe 1 v. Trump, (D DC, Oct. 30, 2017), the court said in part:As a form of government action that classifies people based on their gender identity, and disfavors a class of historically persecuted and politically powerless individuals, the President’s directives are subject to a fairly searching form of scrutiny. Plaintiffs claim that the President’s directives cannot survive such scrutiny because they are not genuinely based on legitimate concerns regarding military effectiveness or budget constraints, but are instead driven by a desire to express disapproval of transgender people generally. The Court finds that a number of factors— including the sheer breadth of the exclusion ordered by the directives, the unusual circumstances surrounding the President’s announcement of them, the fact that the reasons given for them do not appear to be supported by any facts, and the recent rejection of those reasons by the military itself—strongly suggest that Plaintiffs’ Fifth Amendment claim is meritorious.The court held plaintiffs lack standing to challenge the Memorandum’s provisions blocking funds for sex reassignment surgery. New York Times reports on the decision.