Lawyers for President Donald Trump urged a federal appeals court in Portland to allow the administration to prevent certain transgender people from serving in the U.S. armed forces.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the U.S. Department of Justice argued Wednesday for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to lift a federal judge's preliminary injunction that halted the administration's plan and to declare it constitutional.
Brinton Lucas of the Justice Department argued the policy under former President Barak Obama that allows transgender people to openly serve in the military "imposes a risk to military readiness."
LGBTQ advocacy groups filed a lawsuit in Seattle last year, challenging the constitutionality of the Trump administration's ban. The president announced the latest policy back in March, revoking a blanket ban announced last summer.
The White House said at the time that retaining troops with a history or diagnosis of "gender dysphoria" — those who may require substantial medical treatment — "presents considerable risk to military effectiveness and lethality." According to a White House memo, "transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria -- individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery -- are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances."
The hearing was the first time a federal appeals court has heard oral arguments on the plan.