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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No, the National Guard Is Not Defying the Transgender Ban

by Palm Center | April 24, 2019

We’re seeing media headlines suggesting National Guard defiance of the Pentagon’s transgender ban, along the lines of “Five States Say They’ll Let Trans Troops Serve in National Guard.” But the headlines don’t quite get the story right. There is no defiance going on.  Guard leaders are saying they will use the discretion given under the […]

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