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As is typical of orders of this nature, the Court gave no reason for its decision, though Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan noted their dissent.
“We are pleased the Supreme Court granted stays in these cases, clearing the way for the policy to go into effect while litigation continues,” said Kerri Kupec, a Department of Justice spokeswoman. “The Department of Defense has the authority to create and implement personnel policies it has determined are necessary to best defend our nation.”
The Trump administration first petitioned the Supreme Court to decide directly on the legality of the trans-soldiers ban, after federal trial judges in California, Washington, D.C., and Washington state issued orders prohibiting its enforcement. The plaintiffs in those lawsuits argue the policy violates a range of constitutional rights including the First Amendment, equal protection, and due process.
The government said the Court’s intervention was necessary because the lower court decisions “require the military to maintain a policy that, in its own professional judgment, risks undermining readiness, disrupting unit cohesion, and weakening military effectiveness and lethality.”