Trump’s US Supreme Court helps Trump’s transphobia

This 23 January 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Laverne Cox: Trump’s Military Ban Is Part of Larger, Years-Long Attack on Transgender People

The pioneering trans actress and activist Laverne Cox responds to the Supreme Court’s revival of President Donald Trump’s plan to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. She spoke on Tuesday at the National Day of Racial Healing as part of a conversation moderated by Amy Goodman.

By John Burton in the USA:

Supreme Court reinstates Trump’s ban on transgender troops

25 January 2019

On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, issued terse orders staying two trial court injunctions that had prevented the Trump administration from reinstating a ban on transgender personnel in the United States military. No explanation was given for the ruling and no opinion was filed by any of the dissenting justices.

Usually, cases work their way through the trial and appellate courts before the Supreme Court takes any action. In this instance, however, the Supreme Court intervened at the request of the Trump administration before the intermediate appellate court, the Ninth Circuit, could rule.

Starting in the early 1960s, the US Department of Defense formally banned all transgender personnel. That changed in 2015, when President Barack Obama’s secretary of defense, Ashton Carter, announced that the ban would be repealed to make the US military “as attractive as possible to the best people in our country.”

After formal measures were implemented in 2016 to undo the ban, many of the estimated 4,000 active and reserve transgender members came out publicly. Multiple studies confirmed that ending the ban would have no measurable effect on the US military’s ability to rain death and destruction on people and societies standing in the way of the US corporations and oligarchs whose interests it promotes.

Following a series of Trump tweets in July 2017, the ban was reinstated. As the WSWS wrote, “The move to expel transgender soldiers from the military is anti-democratic and oriented toward stoking up the most backward and fascistic elements. Moreover, it has ominous implications for transgender people in other aspects of society, legitimizing discrimination in jobs, education and access to services.”

One might add that irrational discrimination against any segment of the population opens the door for discrimination against others and works against the unification of the working class.

The transgender members of the armed services who came out publicly, relying on the changed policy, have now been exposed to retaliation and expulsion.

Lawsuits were filed by affected persons and organizations representing them. Two federal district courts, both located in the western United States, issued preliminary injunctions preventing Trump from reimposing the ban. Before those rulings could be reviewed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, however, Trump administration lawyers took the unusual step of filing petitions for certiorari, asking the Supreme Court to step in immediately.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued the stay on the lower court injunctions but declined to review the merits of the underlying cases, sending them back to the lower courts. The effect of these rulings is to reinstate the ban for at least one or two more years while the cases are resolved by the federal courts of appeals.

These two perfunctory and premature rulings reveal that the current five-justice majority, which includes Trump appointees Neal Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, will take extraordinary measures to clamp down on independent judicial actions that restrain the Trump administration’s increasingly autocratic measures.

Tuesday’s rulings are a shot across the bow of lower courts inclined to rule against constitutional deprivations by the executive branch. Similar actions will no doubt occur in the future to prevent lower courts from blocking executive measures of dubious constitutionality, especially those intended to suppress the growing resistance of the working class to war and social inequality.

The lack of any explanation for the Supreme Court’s action is also telling. Courts, when issuing injunctions and stays, usually analyze which side is likely to succeed on the merits, the probability that irreparable harm may result if immediate action is not taken, the balance of equities and the public interest.

When granting the lead injunction on December 11, 2017, for example, United States District Judge Marsha Pechman of Seattle, Washington found that the plaintiffs were likely to prevail because the ban violates the principle of “equal protection” by classifying individuals “based on transgender status and gender identity.” Rejecting the claim that the cost of additional medical services justifies the ban, Judge Pechman explained that “the cost to discharge transgender service members is estimated to be more than 100 times greater than the cost to provide transition-related health care.”

Judge Pechman also found “a likelihood of success” for those appealing the ban on the grounds that “substantive due process protects fundamental liberty interests in individual dignity, autonomy, and privacy from unwarranted government intrusion,” including “the right to make decisions concerning bodily integrity and self-definition central to an individual’s identity.”

By issuing the stays without explanation and without accepting any of the cases for a decision on the merits, the Supreme Court is acting undemocratically and as the direct agent of the Trump administration.

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  13. Donald Trump just announced who his picks for the Supreme Court will be if he’s re-elected and a seat opens up. You’re not going to believe who’s on the list:

    Senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton.1

    Think about it. That means if Trump is re-elected and Mitch McConnell keeps control of the Senate, we could see Ruth Bader Ginsburg replaced by Ted Cruz, who wants to ban abortion even in cases of rape and incest.2 Or we could see Stephen Breyer replaced by Tom Cotton, who called slavery a “necessary evil” and advocated sending U.S. troops to attack peaceful protestors.3,4

    The polls in key battleground states like Florida have tightened, and some even show Trump leading.5 So we’re launching our final push to stop Trump and McConnell with highly effective, targeted digital ads aimed at undecided voters; grassroots actions pushing corporations to stop donating to Trump and other anti-choice Republicans; and a campaign calling out sexist and racist news coverage.

    Will you chip in $5 for the final push to beat Trump?

    In 2016, Trump released his short-list of Supreme Court nominees before the election, and it was a key motivator for right-wing voters to support him despite all his awful policies, dozens of rape and sexual assault allegations, and racist comments.

    This time, we’re turning Trump’s list against him by making sure undecided voters who support abortion rights know about this outrageous list.

    Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton aren’t just conservative, they are extreme partisans who have no business serving on the highest court in the land. Under a Ted Cruz-Tom Cotton court, people of color and women could lose nearly all the gains we’ve made in recent decades. In fact, after Trump announced Cotton as one of his picks, Cotton himself immediately tweeted, “It’s time for Roe vs Wade to go.”6 He isn’t even pretending to be impartial or interested in upholding our rights.

    We’re going all-out with a three-part plan to stop Trump and save the Supreme Court:

    1. Highly targeted digital ads calling out Republicans up for re-election who have refused to stand against Trump, like Susan Collins of Maine and Cory Gardner of Colorado.

    2. A media accountability campaign calling out news outlets and social media platforms that amplify Trump’s racism or sexism.

    3. Publicly pressure corporations that have given to Trump or other anti-choice politicians, calling on them to stop giving political extremists money.

    The mere thought of Ted Cruz or Tom Cotton making the final decisions about our basic rights, our lives, and our freedoms is enough to make your stomach churn. Will you donate to beat Trump and make sure that NEVER happens?

    Yes, I will donate $5 to UltraViolet PAC to help defeat Mitch McConnell?

    –Shaunna, KaeLyn, Kathy, Melody, Lindsay, Sonja, Kimberly, Maria, Katie, Iris, KD, and Elisa, the UltraViolet team



    1. Trump adds 20 names to Supreme Court shortlist, including Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, CNBC, September 9, 2020

    2. Cruz makes his case against an abortion rape exception, MSNBC, April 6, 2016

    3. Sen. Tom Cotton defends controversial slavery comments amid backlash, ABC News, July 27, 2020

    4. Tom Cotton: Send In the Troops, The New York Times, August 23, 2020

    5. Florida: Trump vs. Biden, RealClearPolitics, accessed September 11, 2020

    6. ‘It’s time for Roe vs Wade to go’: Senator named by Trump as potential Supreme Court pick reacts by threatening abortion rights, The Independent, September 10, 2020


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