U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman of the Western District of Washington delivered a blow to Donald Trump's attempt to ban transgender people from the military. Citing a history of discrimination, Pechman ruled that transgender people are a protected group and that the injunction against the ban should stay. Pechman also noted the military ban is “unrelated to their ability to perform and contribute to society.”
Regarding the ban, Pechman wrote:
Transgender people have long been forced to live in silence, or to come out and face the threat of overwhelming discrimination. The Court also rules that, because transgender people have long been subjected to systemic oppression and forced to live in silence, they are a protected class. Therefore, any attempt to exclude them from military service will be looked at with the highest level of care, and will be subject to the Court’s ‘strict scrutiny.’ This means that before Defendants can implement the Ban, they must show that it was sincerely motivated by compelling interests, rather than by prejudice or stereotype, and that it is narrowly tailored to achieve those interests.
Trump has been criticized for claiming he consulted with military personal — including generals — about the ban. Pechman noted the government has failed to produce a single person with whom Trump consulted, even though there have been multiple orders to do so. This has confirmed the suspicion that Trump acted alone in concocting the ban before posting his now-infamous tweet.
Judge Pechman cut through the nonsense and realized that there was no “new ban” - just the same ole ban w/ some new packaging. Trans discrimination triggers strict scrutiny. Full stop. DOJ gets one last chance to defend policy but make no mistake - this ban is going DOWN! https://t.co/YaevJXouof— Sharon_McGowan (@SharonMcGowanDC) April 14, 2018
Lambda Legal sent out a series of tweets praising the decision.
“The Court also rules that, because transgender people have long been subjected to systemic oppression and forced to live in silence, they are a protected class.”— Lambda Legal (@LambdaLegal) April 14, 2018
This is a legal gem from tonight’s ruling. The court ruled that transgender people are a protected class.
This is a huge rebuke of the government’s position. The court has made clear that the most demanding level of scrutiny must be met for a law that targets trans people the way that this policy does.— Lambda Legal (@LambdaLegal) April 14, 2018
The court *also* ruled that all of our amazing individual and organizational plaintiffs have standing, as does the state of WA. Additionally, it rejected @TheJusticeDept’s motion to dissolve the preliminary injunction, which continues to protect folks as the case continues! pic.twitter.com/OAFeN5g97x— Lambda Legal (@LambdaLegal) April 14, 2018
The most important thing to remember here is this:— Lambda Legal (@LambdaLegal) April 14, 2018
TRANS PEOPLE ARE NOT A DISTRACTION
TRANS PEOPLE ARE NOT A BURDEN
If you are trans, know that we’ve got your back. You are perfect. And we won’t stop fighting for you.
The news was met with enthusiasm from people on social media.
This is why we fight to make America consciously aware of the injustices being created by the Trump Administration. The Progressive movement in this country will not go away, it's a new time a new day and another "Revelution"! Justice has not died, continue to fight. @pccc— Dinah Mason (@dlynnmason) April 14, 2018
Congratulations! Keep fighting the good fight on behalf of all our dedicated trans military. We appreciate their service!— SKeveryday (@ChangeOfHabits) April 14, 2018
H/T: Huffington Post