General Milley Affirms That Inclusive Policy for Transgender Troops Did Not Harm Readiness

by Palm Center | July 19, 2019

As part of his Senate confirmation process for the position of Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley recently provided written answers to Senators’ Advance Policy Questions in addition to his live testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Below, the Palm Center comments on General Milley’s responses that address military service […]

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In Polling, Context is Everything

by Palm Center | July 16, 2019

A new Pew Research Center poll of U.S. military veterans found that 46% support inclusive policy that would allow transgender people to serve in the military, in comparison to the 64% of U.S. adults overall who support equal opportunity.  A few points of context to keep in mind if these numbers are cited as evidence […]

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The Hollowness Of “Lethality” As A Benchmark For Military Policy

by Palm Center | July 9, 2019

“Lethality” is a buzzword brought to the Department of Defense by former Secretary James Mattis (the last Senate-confirmed nominee), but it remains the all-purpose measure of military policy under the two (and counting) Acting Secretaries that have followed him. Building a “more lethal force” is the theme of our National Defense Strategy. Throughout the chain […]

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Reverse Engineering Bogus Rationales for Discrimination

by Palm Center | July 8, 2019

The Department of Justice is now citing the transgender-military and Muslim-ban cases as authority in the census case, in support of the argument that it should be allowed to reverse-engineer new justifications for discriminatory policy when its rationalizations fail the first time, and also cut off any discovery into the old justifications.  This tactic of […]

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The Supreme Court Believes In Healthy Skepticism

by Palm Center | June 27, 2019

Our entire democratic system is based on an assumption of trust and good faith in government decision making. If we can’t take government actors at their word, at least most of the time, everything breaks down. In upholding the Trump travel ban, the Supreme Court gave the benefit of the doubt to arguments from Department […]

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Something Less Than A “Win” For Transgender Troops

by Palm Center | June 19, 2019

Every Positive Aspect of the Opinion Comes with a Poison Pill That Could Make It Meaningless The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an opinion on transgender service that was partly unexpected, given that the Supreme Court had already stepped in to let the Trump ban take effect for now, while legal challenges proceed. […]

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Army Secretary Says to Most of the Army: “You Don’t Provide Value To Me”

by Palm Center | June 11, 2019

During events in Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper, gave an interview to Christine Amanpour of CNN. In an effort to justify why Trump’s Defense Department switched to a ban on transgender military service, he managed to carelessly disregard the contributions of the 85% of the […]

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