Donald Trump and his administration directly asked the Supreme Court on Friday (23 November) to rule on their proposed transgender military ban.
Several lower district and federal courts have heard challenges to the ban, and found in favor of these challenges. So far, the Trump administration has not been able implement their policy banning transgender people from serving in the military.
Courts still have future challenges to hear as well. The DC Circuit will be hearing arguments in early December regarding the ban.
Today, Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed petitions with the Supreme Court. The petitions ask the justices on the Supreme Court to rule on the issues in regards to three separate cases. If the justices were to take up the issue, their ruling would definitively decide it.
Normally, the Supreme Court does not take on cases before they have gone through the lower courts. This allows them to consider previously issued opinions by lower court judges.
History of the ban
During this time, there were immediate criticisms against the policy. Several lawsuits also started to pour in challenging it.
Trump issued a new policy in March, a more watered-down version of his initial expansive plan.
The issue now remains tangled up in the court system. Some trans people have been able to join the military, while others have faced obstacle after obstacle.
Trump is now hoping this appeal can get the matter out of the labyrinth of the courts.
Trump vs judges
Earlier this week, Trump got into a dispute with Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts.
Trump criticized the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and referred to one of the judges as an ‘Obama judge’. In response, Roberts issued a sharp rebuke of Trump’s comments.
‘We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,’ he said.
‘What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.’
Trump responded to Roberts’ comments on Twitter.