Commensurate with a president’s primary responsibility, to protect America, President Trump has set about rebuilding and strengthening our military. Unfortunately, he’s had to fight some court battles to get this done.
Early on, President Trump announced he was rolling back the Obama transgender troop policy that mandated facilities and training to smooth the way for transgender Americans to serve openly. The president’s priorities for the military are to advance mission readiness and combat lethality. He maintains that the transgender policy implemented by President Obama’s Secretary of Defense Ash Carter accomplishes neither of these goals and, in fact, provides a distraction.
It’s the Commander in Chief’s prerogative to determine policy. Plaintiffs accused the White House of bigotry against trangenders. Several courts blocked President Trump’s rollback from taking effect. President Trump then tasked Secretary of Defense James Mattis with studying the issue, including the effects on the military from the Obama/Carter policy. The study found there are real problems with admitting people who are confused about their gender identity into the military. The problems and expenses are compounded when personnel seek medical treatment including surgery.
Secretary Mattis came up with an implementation plan for President Trump’s policy that would allow transgenders to serve only if they do so in their biological sex.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department did a good job defending the president’s powers as Commander in Chief. And in recent days, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned the lower courts’ injunctions against implementation of the Mattis Plan, stating the administration had done due diligence in its research.
Family Research Council points out: “this isn’t a question of fairness — it’s a question of fitness.” There is no right to serve in the military. There are hundreds of conditions and physical limitations that disqualify people from military service. The Commander in Chief has the power to determine military policy and the D.C. Circuit rightly affirmed that.