U.S. President Donald Trump continued his anti-trans policies this holiday weekend with two moves: He asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule quickly on his anti-trans military ban and removed protections for federal trans employees from the Office of Personnel Management’s website.
On July 26, 2017, Trump tweeted his intention to ban on all trans U.S. military members. Trump has since refused to name the military leaders who supposedly advised him on the ban. In the meanwhile, many have publicly opposed his move, pointing out the billions it will cost.
Since then, three federal courts have blocked Trump’s attempt, stating that he failed to show how it would further government interests. Trump initially said it was a cost-saving measure, except the U.S. military currently spends five to 20 times more on Viagra than it does on trans-related medical care.
This Friday, Trump asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the three federal court rulings blocking his ban. Buzzfeed News reporter Chris Geidner said Trump is basically asking the Supreme Court to rule before lower appeals courts issue their rulings, an unusual step.
Trump’s filing says a quick ruling is necessary because the case “involves an issue of imperative public importance: the authority of the U.S. military to determine who may serve in the Nation’s armed forces,” but this is untrue. He merely hopes the highest court will rule before appeals courts can continue chipping away at his ban.
If the U.S. Supreme Court does take up any of the cases, their ruling will likely come out by June 2019. In the meanwhile, the proposed ban affects the estimated 1,320 to 15,000 trans people currently serving in the military, leaving their employment status uncertain, and discourages would-be trans recruits from signing up.
Over the holidays, Trump also quietly deleted protections for trans federal employees from the Office of Personnel Management’s website. Though the site still explicitly forbids discrimination based on “gender identity,” it has removed explicit references to transgender people.
According to Think Progress, the site removed detailed definitions for “gender identity,” “transgender,” “gender non-conforming,” and “transition.” It also removed sections guaranteeing that trans workers “could dress according to their gender identity … were called by their preferred names and pronouns, and … allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.”
In the past, Trump has rescinded Obama-era memos protecting trans students, sent an anti-trans activist to a U.N. women’s rights meeting and ended a rule placing trans prisoners in facilities matching their gender identity.