President Donald Trump's administration has asked the US Supreme Court to review lower court rulings blocking a policy barring certain transgender people from serving in the military, declining to wait for the decisions from federal appeals courts now considering the issue. Trump revisited that policy, the president issuing an order banning most transgender troops from serving except under limited circumstances.
On Friday, Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed petitions asking the justices to take up the issue in three separate cases that are still in lower courts so it could be decided definitively this term.
The Trump administration is calling on the Supreme Court to enforce its transgender military ban. The justices like to have issues percolate below so that they can benefit from the opinions of lower court judges.
"There is absolutely no support for the claim that the ongoing service of transgender people would have any negative effect on the military at all. In fact, there is considerable evidence that it is the discharge and banning of such individuals that would have such effects".
If the request is granted, it would mean they would skip appeals courts and go straight to the Supreme Court, according to USA Today.
So it's rare for the justices to intervene early as the Trump administration has been pressing them to do. The appeals court has since ruled but the administration's request that the court hear the case stands.
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"Francisco added that "[Defense] Secretary [Jim] Mattis and a panel of senior military leaders and other experts determined that the prior policy. posed too great a risk to military effectiveness and lethality".
However, the subject matter seems to be without precedent, meaning it's ripe for a Supreme Court review.
"There is no urgency here and no reason for the court to weigh in at this juncture", said Jennifer Levi, transgender rights project director for the gay rights group GLAD. An Obama administration policy change has allowed them to serve in the U.S. military.
It marks yet another attempt by Trump to undo policy enacted by the Obama administration, specifically when it comes to policies affecting the transgender community.
The court will hear arguments in the census question case in February.
It's unclear why, exactly, all due haste is required in denying transgender people the right to serve in the United States military.
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