Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat, said Saturday that the administration's decision to fast-track those cases to the Supreme Court is nothing more than a "cowardly, disgusting ban" on transgender individuals serving in the military.
The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court on Friday to issue an unusually quick ruling on the Pentagon's policy of restricting military service by transgender people.
That proposal replaced President Trump's plan to ban all transgender military members, which he announced via Twitter in 2017. This would require bypassing the normal judicial process, as the Justice Department is essentially asking justices to review the cases before appeals courts have had an opportunity to rule on the issue.
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Administration officials say they want to ensure that the Supreme Court would be able to review the dispute before its term ends in June 2019.
The request, if granted, would mean not waiting for decisions from federal appeals courts now considering the issue. But Francisco told the Supreme Court the administration cannot afford to wait for those circuits to decide, and that the justices should accept the cases now so they can be heard in the current term.
The Trump administration argued Friday that the Supreme Court should get involved in this case early because it "involves an issue of imperative public importance: the authority of the us military to determine who may serve in the nation's armed forces".
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In a statement, Peter Renn, an attorney for Lambda Legal, which brought one of the challenges to the transgender military policy, called the Trump administration's action a "highly unusual step" that is "wildly premature and inappropriate". Several lawsuits were filed, with lower courts all ruling against the Trump administration. Oral argument has been scheduled for December 10 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; no argument date has been set in the 9th Circuit in the third case.
The new policy approved by President Trump allows current transgender service members with gender dysphoria to continue serving if they were diagnosed after the Obama administration's policy took effect.
Still ongoing in lower courts are the census and climate change cases. Despite repeated attempts from federal courts to block it, the de facto ban is still keeping most trans troops out of service with bureaucratic red tape and increasingly obscure medical records requests.
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The proposed policy in question was sent to the president in February by Defense Secretary James Mattis.