President Donald Trump’s administration, in a move to get around the circuit court, on Friday appealed directly to the Supreme Court to hear a challenge to the administration’s policy that bars transgender people from military service.
The move comes as the president has railed against the Ninth Circuit, which put on a hold on his asylum ban for illegal immigrants.
Several district courts have blocked the policy, including the Ninth Circuit, which heard arguments earlier this fall, and the DC Circuit, which will hear arguments in early December.
President Trump’s administration asked the Supreme Court to rule on a challenge to the ban on transgender soldiers
The US Supreme Court is pictured in full with the president and first lady on November 8
But, on Friday, the administration moved to bypass those courts and go straight to the top.
Solicitor General Noel Francisco of the Justice Department filed petitions asking Supreme Court justices to take up the issue in three separate cases that are still in lower courts, CNN reported.
Francisco argues that lower court rulings imposing nationwide injunctions are wrong and warrant immediate review by the high court.
The administration’s attempt to get the issue before the Supreme Court in their current term could mean a decision by June 2019 – if the justices agree to take up the matter.
The policy, which Trump announced on Twitter in July 2017, was later officially released by Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
It blocks individuals who suffer from a condition known as gender dysphoria from serving in the military with limited exceptions.
It does let individuals without the condition serve but only if they do so according to the sex they were assigned at birth.
Typically, the Supreme Court does not like to take up an issue before it has made its way through the lower courts.
The administration had made similar requests of the high court in the past and the Supreme Court has rebuffed those attempts, as it did in a challenge to the administration’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for Dreamers, sending the matters back to the lower courts before it weighs in.
President Trump has been railing against the Ninth Court and got into an unprecedented battle with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on the role of the judiciary.
A supporter of LGBT rights holds up an “equality flag” on Capitol Hill in Washington, during an event held by Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass. in support of transgender members of the military
The policy blocks individuals who suffer from a condition known as gender dysphoria from serving in the military with limited exceptions
On Thanksgiving Day, he slammed the circuit court while on a call with U.S. troops based in Afghanistan.
‘We got a lot of bad decisions from the Ninth Circuit, which has become a big thorn in our side. We always lose, and then you lose again and again, and you hopefully win at the Supreme Court, which we have done,’ he said on a call with U.S. troops based in Afghanistan.
Trump also acknowledged his spat with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
‘I know that Chief Justice Roberts, John Roberts, has been speaking a little bit about it. And I think – I have a lot of respect for him. I like him and respect him, but I think we have to use some common sense. It’s Ninth Circuit, everybody knows it, it’s totally out of control. What they’re doing, what they’re saying, the opinions are very unfair to law enforcement. They’re very unfair to our military. And they’re very unfair, most importantly, to the people of our country,’ he said.
Trump had complained that a judge appointed by former President Barack Obama has ruled against his asylum ban, calling him an ‘Obama-judge.’
That earned a sharp rebuke from the chief justice.
Roberts, who is a Republican and was nominated to the Supreme Court by George W. Bush in 2005, said: ‘We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.
‘What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.
‘The independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.’
Trump hit back on Twitter afterwards, saying: ‘Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have ‘Obama judges’, and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country.’