The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today ruled against transgender service members, lifting the district court’s order preventing the Trump administration from enforcing its ban on military service by transgender people in Doe v. Trump. Despite today’s decision, three nationwide preliminary injunctions halting the ban remain in effect blocking the ban while the cases proceed in the federal district courts. In addition, as the D.C. Circuit noted “today’s decision is not a final determination on the merits,” and the case will continue in the district court.
The decision is bad for the military because it supports a dramatic reversal of a policy that has been in place for over 2 years allowing qualified transgender people to serve and that senior military officials acknowledge has caused no problems with military readiness. Transgender people like Maurice have proven their fitness to serve, and are serving their country with distinction. They seek only to be held to the same military standards as anyone else.