US President Donald Trump’s administration has asked the country’s Supreme Court to hear a challenge to Trump’s policy that bars most transgender individuals from military service.
The policy, first announced by the President in July 2017 via Twitter and later officially released by Secretary of Defence James Mattis, blocks individuals who suffer from a condition known as gender dysphoria from serving with limited exceptions, CNN reported.
It also specifies that individuals without the condition can serve but only if they do so according to the sex they were assigned at birth.
District courts across the country have so far blocked the policy from going into effect.
On Friday, Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed petitions asking the justices to take up the issue in three separate cases that were still in lower courts so it could be decided definitively this term.
Francisco argued that lower court rulings imposing nationwide injunctions were wrong and warrant immediate review.
He said that because of the injunctions, “the military has been forced to maintain that prior policy for nearly a year” despite a determination by Mattis and a panel of experts that the “prior policy, adopted by (Defence Secretary Ash Carter), posed too great a risk to military effectiveness and lethality”.
Earlier in the month, the Department of Justice warned the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that it planned to ask for emergency relief to lift the nationwide injunction.
The filing comes after Chief Justice John Roberts and Trump got into a public dispute about the independence of the judiciary this week.
Roberts issued a statement on Wednesday criticising the President for calling one lower court judge who ruled against him an “Obama judge”.
The President responded via Twitter criticising Roberts and accusing the American judiciary of undermining national security.