Two advocacy groups have filed suit against President Donald Trump on Fifth Amendment grounds after the President said on Twitter that he was directing the nation’s military to disallow transgender individuals from military service.
The GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) filed a complaint on Wednesday morning in the United States District Court for the District Of Columbia. The two groups are suing nine defendants, including Trump, on behalf of five unnamed individuals.
In late July, Trump used his social media account to announce the policy change, saying that “the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
The lawsuit claims that Trump’s directive “to reinstate a ban on open service by transgender people violates both the Equal Protection component of the Fifth Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. “ The military lifted in its prior ban on transgender service in June 2016.
On the Equal Protection claim, the groups believe that “the categorical exclusion of transgender people from military service lacks a rational basis, is arbitrary, and cannot be justified by sufficient federal interests.”
On the Due Process claim, they argue that “Defendants’ arbitrary reversal of the United States’ June 2016 policy threatens to exclude Plaintiffs from continued military service because they are transgender, thus depriving Plaintiffs of those interests without due process of law.”
They are also asking the federal court for preliminary and permanent injunctions against the bans ordered by President Trump.
On the day after the tweets, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford said the policy wouldn’t be implemented until the military received guidance from the White House. (Dunford is one of the defendants in this lawsuit.) That guidance hasn’t been made public as of Wednesday morning.