A group of transgender troops are suing Donald Trump over his tweets announcing a ban on trans people serving openly in the military. The suit was filed on Wednesday by five trans servicemen who have served in the military for decades across various branches. It calls for “permanent injunctive relief”—that is, a complete stop—to any plans to ban trans troops from serving.
Trump’s tweets on July 26 declared that the U.S. government “will not accept or allow ... Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” citing that U.S. armed forces need to be “focused on decisive and overwhelming ... victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
The suit claims that executing this ban has already brought “immediate, concrete injury” to the service members by “unsettling and destabilizing .... reasonable expectation of continued service.”
The ban—should it go into effect—would also violate the equal protection and due process rights of thousands of trans troops, according to the suit.
Trump’s tweets drew criticism across the political spectrum for myriad reasons. Apart from the obvious civil rights concerns, pundits say the discriminatory ban would actually hamper military readiness, a possibility that is all the more concerning considering the president’s willingness to escalate nuclear threats against North Korea.
Late last month, the Pentagon and the White House were reportedly drafting guidance on trans service, though no official orders have been released yet.