SEATTLE – President Donald Trump ‘ s move last week to tweak its ban on transgender people joining the military might not save it from being struck down, a federal judge in Seattle suggested Tuesday.
U. S. District Judge Marsha Pechman was one of the four federal judges in the entire country, which at the end of last year temporarily the chairman of the collapse of an Obama-era directive allowing transgender troops to serve in an open, finding the ban is likely to be illegal and discriminatory. The legal challenges faced by transgender troops, who desire to serve and a range of civil rights organisations.
Pechman a scheduled hearing Tuesday for arguments over whether or not to make her ruling permanent, but late Friday, Trump announced that he was withdrawing his earlier decision after a Pentagon review. Instead of barring transgender troops outright, he would allow them to serve in certain cases. Any who have transitioned to their preferred gender, or who need medical treatment to do so would be deemed not eligible for, although they may ask individual deviations to allow them to serve.
The Ministry of Justice immediately asked Pechman and other federal judges to cancel their old orders as moot — something Pechman showed little interest in doing, to notice that the Friday at the end of the filing left little time for the plaintiffs to respond.
None of the other courts hearings in the cases challenging the transgender ban since the new policy came on Friday U. S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington, D. C., scheduled a case conference for Wednesday morning. Cases are also pending in federal court in Baltimore, and Riverside, California.
Pechman requested further briefing within a week about how the president’s new policy may have an impact on the case, but they emphasized Tuesday that the two parties present their arguments to the wider first ban and suggested that her decision would be able to focus. The hearing was reminiscent of some of the legal challenges to Trump ‘ s travel ban, when he repeatedly changed his policy in the light of the adverse rulings of the court.
Pechman repeatedly asked the Ministry of Justice, attorney Ryan Parker for any evidence in the record that a ban on transgender people would further the military objectives of the unity, cohesion, morale, readiness and cost savings: “I find no factual support in what you did to me,” she said at one point.
Parker pointed to a report from the Minister of Defence Jim Mattis, released in support of the chairman of the revised policy, but the court rejected it, saying that the report was not good for her, because it was late filed.
Pechman also shrugged off the government’s argument that the court should give deference to the military as the entity that is best suited to determine what is necessary for the national defense. The court noted that the courts once gave such reverence in allowing the military to designate troops by breed, ban women, ban women from combat, and the ban on gays that have since been destroyed.
“In hindsight, all that modesty was in error,” Pechman said.
She is punished by Parker on other points as well, says the government had circumvention of page limits by the use of a smaller font than allowed in the documents and that he has failed to respond to the arguments raised by the state of Washington, which had intervened on the side of the plaintiffs.
Natalie Nardecchia, a lawyer with Lambda Legal who represents the plaintiffs have argued that the government’s new policy is not relevant: Trump with a goal of prohibiting transgender people from where, and in what capacity, as he announced on Twitter, and then have the military come with an after-the-fact reason why it should be implemented.
“If the government discriminates against a group of people, they must have a reason; they can’t say, we are going to study and come up with a reason,” Nardecchia said. “Making small changes in the policy in the final version, not the constitutional.”