Friday, January 04, 2019

D.C. Circuit Dissolves Injunction Against Trans Military Ban

In a brief decision, the D.C. Circuit dissolved a lower court injunction against Trump's ban on military service by trans individuals who seek to transition, concluding that the injunction was not sufficiently deferential to the military and that in any event the ban was not a "blanket" prohibition on service by trans individuals because "not all transgender persons seek to transition to their preferred gender or have gender dysphoria".

If that latter determination causes you to roll your eyes, (a) you're right and (b) this is exactly what I've been warning about in, e.g., my "expelling Hillel can't be antisemitic because not every Jew likes Hillel" essays. This line of reasoning is one of the most powerful pathways for the conservative dismantlement of anti-discrimination law -- it is utterly unsurprising to see it used here to defend the otherwise transparently ridiculous assertion that the trans service ban isn't a trans service ban (see also: Trump v. Hawaii's "Muslim ban isn't a Muslim ban"). Find a tiny sliver of the relevant community you're okay with, gerrymander the discrimination so that sliver is admitted, and presto! No more discrimination.

As several other courts have also enjoined the trans ban, the D.C. Circuit's decision will not have any immediate effect.

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