Transgender veteran Kristin Beck on Trump's proposed ban: "Why would you cut these people who are capable?"
CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson says Trump-Pence administration is trying to "bypass the normal protocol"
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From the November 25 edition of CNN's New Day Sunday:
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CHRISTI PAUL (HOST): President Trump's administration is asking the Supreme Court to step in and take up the military transgender ban, essentially bypassing lower courts. Now, the rules would disqualify service members who, quote, "require or have undergone gender transition, and individuals without a history of gender dysphoria would be required to serve under their biological sex." Kristin Beck, retired Navy SEAL and transgender advocate is with us now, as well as Joey Jackson, CNN legal analyst. Kristin, I wanted to ask you, when President Trump announced back in July this potential plan that he had back then, this policy to ban transgender people, you said, “Let's meet face-to-face, and you tell me I'm not worthy.” What would you say to him today?
KRISTIN BECK (RETIRED U.S. NAVY SEAL): I would say the same thing. I would want to meet face-to-face and have a conversation and try to really understand what are the reasons. Because the reasons to ban transgender people does not make sense. We are capable. We are worthy. We are American citizens who want to serve, and we are able to do the job. There are 134,000 transgender veterans living in America right now. There are 15,000 transgender service people in the service right now in uniform. So there are thousands of us who have done a job. There are thousands right now serving. So it just does not make sense to cut people who are capable when we are in such short supply in the middle of wars around the world that we're fighting. Why would you cut these people who are capable?
PAUL: Joey, what do you make of how successful or unsuccessful this attempt may be by the president to leapfrog, so to speak, the lower courts and go straight to the Supreme Court? And how would that be received, first of all, in the Supreme Court?
JOEY JACKSON (CNN LEGAL ANALYST): Sure. Good morning to you Christi. Good morning, Kristin, and thank you very much for your service. It is very much appreciated, I'm sure by me and people throughout the world, and, of course, our country. I think to your question, Christi, I think it will have little, if any chance, and let's talk about why. As an initial matter, there's a process. There's a protocol. Usually the federal courts decide upon an issue, and then it goes to the Court of Appeals. Now, we know in this particular case that at least three federal district courts, that's the initial level of the federal court, have decided on this issue. And they have made a contrary decision from what the administration would like. We know also that the Ninth Circuit, which the president rails about persistently and repeatedly, has taken up the matter on appeal, but they have not yet decided the matter on appeal.
Why is any of what I said relevant? It's relevant because the process would require, in general terms, that appellate courts decide, number one. And then number two, generally, there's a split in appellate decisions, meaning we are a large country. We are a country of 50 states. It's not uncommon for one, for example, appellate court -- you have 13 district courts, 12 really and D.C., which makes the 13th -- you may have a split, meaning there is a distinction in opinions, and there's a difference for which the Supreme Court may want to get involved. And so, that has not yet happened. So, I don't think this is yet ripe. I don't think it's an issue that should bypass the normal protocol, and finally Christi, I don't see that it's this imperative, of immediate imperative importance, such that it bypasses the process.