In a much-needed check against overreaching lower courts, the Supreme Court has blocked the nationwide injunctions issued by federal district court judges against the Trump Administration’s so-called “Mattis plan,” which restricts military service by those suffering from “gender dysphoria.” The Supreme Court’s action allows the Trump Administration’s policy to stay in effect while the challenges to the policy wind their way through the federal appeals process. Specifically, the Court tied a 9th Circuit appeal in one of those cases to any future actions the Court takes.
The Daily Citizen previously reported on U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco’s request to the high court that it hear all of the pending lower court challenges to the “Mattis plan” before they reach the Court through the appellate process because of the importance of the issue and the urgent needs of the military to have this issue resolved. While the Court did not grant Francisco’s request, the action it did take to temporarily block the nationwide injunctions does the next best thing by allowing the policy to operate for the time being.
The “Mattis plan” is not a total ban on transgender-identified individuals serving in the military. The policy permits current, openly-serving transgender-identified personnel to continue serving, as well as any such existing or future service personnel who are willing to serve in their biological sex.
The practice of some federal district judges in issuing nationwide injunctions against the federal government has been controversial. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions argues, among other things, that the practice encourages “forum shopping,” where litigants look for judges around the country willing to stop a federal policy or law in its tracks. If judges exercised enough restraint to keep their rulings applicable only to the parties before the court, it would end the temptation to forum shop.
The case is titled Trump v. Karnoski.