A New Court Ruling on Transgender Military Policy, But Little That is New

by Palm Center | August 23, 2019

The United States district court in Maryland has issued an opinion in one of the four challenges to Trump’s transgender military ban. We can expect to see additional rulings like this from time to time as cases move toward trial. The ban was officially reinstated on April 12, 2019 after the Supreme Court decided it […]

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Navy: There Isn’t any Reason for the Trump Transgender Ban, but We’ll Try to Make It Look More Fair Than It Is

by Palm Center | August 6, 2019

Vice Admiral Michael Gilday, just confirmed to be the new Chief of Naval Operations, was extremely clear in his testimony (at page 56) to the Senate about whether transgender military service and, more specifically, service by people who transition gender before or during service, has had any impact on readiness: Q: In your experience, has […]

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Propaganda Principles: The Bigger, the Better

by Palm Center | July 29, 2019

The House of Representatives recently passed, on a bipartisan basis, an amendment to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that would prohibit discrimination in eligibility for military service and treatment while in military service. Modeled on President Harry Truman’s 1948 executive order to desegregate the military, the amendment, if enacted, would be the first time […]

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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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