Federal Judge Rules Donald Trump’s Transgender Military Ban “Capricious, Arbitrary, and Unqualified”

Federal Judge Rules Donald Trump’s Transgender Military Ban “Capricious, Arbitrary, and Unqualified”

Back in 2016, President Obama and Pentagon officials had decided that transgender troops could serve in the U.S. military without impacting military readiness or morale.

After a year-long review to make sure the rule change would be smooth, Donald Trump surprised military leaders by announced a ban on transgender military service members via Twitter:

Concerned transgender troops filed a lawsuit saying the decision violated their constitutional rights to due process and failed to follow proper rulemaking procedures.

In October, a federal judge in Washington, DC, agreed with the troops and put Trump’s ban on hold.

Today, US District Judge Marvin J. Garbis agreed in a parallel lawsuit in Maryland putting a complete stop on Trump’s proposed ban.

Judge Garbis looked at Trump’s tweets and ruled they did not come from solid policy making.

“President Trump’s tweets did not emerge from a policy review, nor did the Presidential Memorandum identify any policymaking process or evidence demonstrating that the revocation of transgender rights was necessary for any legitimate national interest,” the judge wrote.

In fact, the judge called the tweets “shocking.”

“An unexpected announcement by the President and Commander in Chief of the United States via Twitter that ‘the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military’ certainly can be considered shocking under the circumstances,” read Judge Garbis’ ruling.

More from Dominic Holden at Buzzfeed:

Trump reversing that 2016 rule with a tweet concerned the judge, who wrote on Tuesday, “A capricious, arbitrary, and unqualified tweet of new policy does not trump the methodical and systematic review by military stakeholders qualified to understand the ramifications of policy changes.”

Josh Block, a staff attorney representing troops in the case of Stone v. Trump, told BuzzFeed News the judge was referring to legal terms about the decision being arbitrary and shocking. “What is so extraordinary about this situation is that you had a detailed, year-long review that was then, on the spur of the moment, negated by a tweet out of nowhere that shocked Trump’s own generals,” he said.

“It’s not the judge that connected this to Twitter,” Block added. “It was Trump who decided that this could be announced by a tweet.”