Doe v. Trump: D.C. Circuit Issues Additional Opinions in Transgender Military Ban Case
March 8, 2019
Today the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued opinions from two judges in Doe v. Trump following the court’s January 4 unsigned order regarding the nationwide preliminary injunction that has been blocking Trump’s transgender military ban since October, 2017.
Statement from Jennifer Levi, Transgender Rights Project Director of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD):
The opinions released today from Judge Williams and Judge Wilkins reflect the sharp disagreement among the panel about the basic legal framework governing this case.
Judge Williams would give the government carte blanche to enforce any military policy it deems fit – even one that singles out a group of people for discriminatory treatment. We respectfully disagree.
Judge Wilkins’ opinion, on the other hand, acknowledges the hardship the proposed military policy creates for transgender service members, and says plaintiffs must be given the chance to submit evidence to show that the Mattis plan does not pass constitutional muster.
The bottom line here is that the court’s January 4 ruling that the district court gave insufficient weight to the new circumstances in the case, including the issuance of the March 2018 Mattis Plan, was narrow.
The plaintiffs have 21 days to file for rehearing by the full D.C. Circuit bench, and we are considering our options thoroughly. For now, the nationwide injunction prohibiting the ban from going into effect remains in place.