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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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Finally, a DoD Concession That Trump’s Transgender Military Ban is Simply Discrimination Based on Gender Identity

by Palm Center | June 10, 2019

Two years after a string of presidential tweets set a ban on transgender military service in motion, fifteen months after the former secretary of defense backfilled an after-the-fact justification for those tweets, and two months after the ban took effect, the Department of Defense has now conceded that the ban works by treating transgender people […]

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Defense Secretary Nominee Pat Shanahan’s Vexed Relationship With Evidence

by Palm Center | May 14, 2019

Here is a column from Just Security that lists questions defense reporters would like to ask about transgender policy, for example: “The U.S. military currently has 14,000 transgender troops serving openly. Has their service had any negative consequences on the military’s readiness or morale?” Patrick Shanahan led the Pentagon group that was assigned to clean […]

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Army Chief of Staff Nominee Substitutes Gut Instinct About Transgender Troops for Data

by Palm Center | May 3, 2019

It became clear yesterday that Army leadership intends to backfill hypothetical justifications for DOD’s new transgender ban without evidence, following in the footsteps of former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who did the same thing in an effort to “fix” President Trump’s tweeted ban. General James McConville is the nominee to become the next Chief […]

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