The Trump administration on Friday petitioned the Supreme Court to allow several cases challenging the president’s bar on transgender people serving in the military to bypass federal appeals courts.
The policy, which blocks individuals with gender dysphoria from serving, has been subject to numerous suits. Federal district courts have entered injunctions against the ban, but no appeals court has yet ruled on it.
The Supreme Courts Rules allow the court to review a federal trial court’s ruling before an appeals court ruling “only upon showing that the case is of such an imperative public importance as to justify deviation from normal appellate practice and to require immediate determination in this court.”
The petitioners say that the challenge to the bar on transgender people warrants the Court’s immediate review. They write that this is an issue of imperative public importance because it involves the “authority of the U.S. military to determine who may serve in the Nation’s armed forces.”
After an extensive process of consultation and review involving senior military officials and other experts, the Secretary of Defense determined that individuals with a history of a medical condition called gender dysphoria should be presumptively disqualified from military service, particularly if they have undergone the treatment of gender transition or seek to do so.
If the Supreme Court does take up the issue, the justices would hear an appeal this term, setting up a ruling for summer 2019.