Updated: 2019/01/22 2:00PM
On Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019, the Supreme Court allowed Donald Trump’s transgender military ban to go into effect. The Justices did not rule on the merits of the case, but are allowing the ban to go forward while the lower courts arrive at a ruling.
You may recall that in July 2017 Donald Trump tweeted about the ban, which was later released by then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis in 2018. In the initial tweet, Trump wrote, “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
The ban blocks individuals who have been diagnosed with “gender dysphoria” from serving with limited exceptions. It specifies that individuals who are not diagnosed with the condition may serve, but only if they serve according to the sex they were assigned at birth.
The Pentagon was previously forced in to allow transgender applicants to join the military after a federal judge ruled it on January 1st, 2018.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Lt. Col. Carla Gleason, a spokesperson for the pentagon, said, “As always, we treat all transgender persons with respect and dignity. The Department of Defense’s proposed policy is NOT a ban on service by transgender persons. It is critical that DoD be permitted to implement personnel policies that it determines are necessary to ensure the most lethal and combat effective fighting force in the world. DoD’s proposed policy is based on professional military judgment and will ensure that the U.S. Armed Forces remain the most lethal and combat effective fighting force in the world,” Lt. Col. Carla Gleason, a Pentagon spokesperson, told CNN.