On Tuesday, in somewhat of a surprise, the Supreme Court granted a request from the Trump administration to let them begin implementing a military ban against transgender people while the case proceeds through the courts. That is, the 5-4 order, which reflected the conservative-liberal split on the high court, would not allow any action against already-serving transgenders and would be in effect until current cases, which raise the issue of the constitutionality of the ban, move forward in the courts.
But the court’s decision is as much about court procedure and how policy is properly set as it is about the rights of transgender people. The Trump administration had asked the Supreme Court to deal directly with the propriety of several single judge district courts who not only issued an injunction against the transgender ban covering their own judicial districts, but made the injunction a national one – each effectively negating a decision by the president of the United States.
These actions by individual judges have become more and more prevalent since the election of President Trump, particularly in the area of immigration law, and seem to be somewhat connected ideologically to the Resistance. Indeed, most – but not all – of the judges so involved have been Obama appointees.
Whatever one may think about the transgender issue or immigration law, surely the ability of one judge to assume national power is something that has to be fully explored.