ACLU asks court to immediately halt transgender troops ban

ACLU asks court to immediately halt transgender troops ban
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is asking a court to immediately halt President Trump’s ban on transgender troops.

On Thursday, the group filed a motion in its lawsuit against the ban asking for a preliminary injunction while the case works its way through the court.

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“Men and women who are transgender should be allowed to serve their country rather than being exposed to this level of uncertainty and harm,” Josh Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project, said in a statement. “We’re confident that the courts will eventually strike down this unconstitutional ban. So we’re demanding a court order to prevent this shameful policy from ever being implemented.”

In July, Trump tweeted that he would ban transgender people from serving in the military in any capacity.

He made good on the tweets in August, signing a presidential memo that prohibits the military from enlisting transgender people and from using funds to pay for gender transition-related surgery. The memo also gave Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Tillerson, Trump deny report of rift | Tillerson says he never considered resigning | Trump expresses 'total confidence' in secretary | Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad with pro-communist posts Trump, honor Obama’s agreement to release Guantanamo detainee MORE six months to determine what to do with transgender troops who are currently serving.

Days later, Mattis said he would establish a panel of experts to determine how to implement Trump’s order and that those transgender troops currently in the military would be allowed to continue serving while the study is ongoing.

On Aug. 28, the ACLU filed suit on behalf of six transgender troops, arguing the ban violates equal protection and due process rights.

The ACLU’s suit is one of four against the ban. The others are from the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Outserve-SLDN and Lambda Legal, and Equality California.

NCLR and GLAD have also asked for a preliminary injunction in their lawsuit.

In its filing Thursday, the ACLU argued that there will be “irreparable harm” to the troops it represents.

“Without a preliminary injunction to preserve the status quo, plaintiffs’ health and careers — and the health and careers of thousands of other transgender service members and qualified individuals who wish to serve — will be irreparably harmed,” the motion said. “The transgender service member ban is unconstitutional and invalid on its face, and the court should enter a preliminary injunction prohibiting Defendants from implementing or enforcing it.”