The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Trump administration to begin enforcing its policy limiting transgender people’s ability to serve in the military while the broader legal battle plays out in lower courts.
The 5-4 decision allows the Pentagon to bar new recruits who have undergone gender transitions and to limit troops already serving from going through transitions.
Pentagon officials insisted that their policy is not a ban but that the rules are needed to prevent disruptions in training and unit cohesion. The Trump administration will make the same arguments as the case is fought.
“The Department of Defense has the authority to create and implement personnel policies it has determined are necessary to best defend our nation,” said Kerri Kupec, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department.
LGBT advocates called the ruling a devastating blow to transgender people who may be forced to leave the military and could face stigmatization.