December 07, 2017
By Travis Weber, Director of FRC's Center for Religious Liberty
The latest in the saga on transgendered individuals serving in the military is that a federal judge is forcing DOD to have them serving by January 1st.
Earlier this year, President Trump tried to return the military to the status quo after President Obama radically departed from longstanding policy and sought to socially engineer the military by forcing inclusion of those identifying as transgender.
But as usual, activists once again sued President Trump and once again, a federal court put a hold on the administration's policy. In addition to unconstitutionally intruding into executive authority to govern the military (and in even concluding there was a violation of some right here), federal district court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has now compounded the problems she created.
After her October 30 opinion was issued, and she ordered the administration to change its policy by January 1st, the Trump administration (which is charged with actually running the military, unlike Kollar-Kotelly, who has the luxury of sitting in her chambers in the District of Columbia and pontificating on how it should be run), had sought more time to respond to her demands but the judge denied it. Now, in addition to having to appeal to the D.C. Circuit, the DOJ has also asked Kollar-Kotelly to put on hold part of her order that transgendered recruits be allowed to serve until the litigation is completed.
This is a quite reasonable request. The entire saga has already yanked the DOD to and fro far too much, micro-managing the agency which should be left to military professionals -- not judicial professionals -- to run. Compounding the problem, another judge even interjected himself into the issue by ordering the administration to not even deny funding for sex-reassignment surgeries. The military's job is to win wars, not engage in social experimentation, something the Obama administration seemed to miss. This is why it has (and has had for a long, long time) such strict requirements on who can serve, and has excluded people for a host of medical conditions.
Life is not fair, and serving in the military is not a "right." It is a calling, and one which must be protected to keep our nation safe. It's not child's play. It's not a joke. And it's not a playground for political correctness -- despite seeming, at times, like politically correct politicians and bureaucrats (who've often never served themselves) want to toy with it like it's their own fifth-grade social studies experiment. It's even more shameful that they endanger our troops in the process.
The Trump administration should continue to vigorously appeal this activist judge's orders and do what's best for our military and our country -- not the political class's contest to see who's most politically correct.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.