The Justice Dept. said in a statement that the policies it was fighting in the courts, which were created under the Obama administration, had posed "a risk to military effectiveness and lethality for over a year."
There is no proof that allowing transgender troops to serve openly poses any risk to military effectiveness or lethality.
“We are pleased the Supreme Court granted stays in these cases, clearing the way for the policy to go into effect while litigation continues," DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec said. Kupec previously was the spokesperson for the anti-LGBT hate group Alliance Defending Freedom.
"The Department of Defense has the authority to create and implement personnel policies it has determined are necessary to best defend our nation. Due to lower courts issuing nationwide injunctions, our military had been forced to maintain a prior policy that poses a risk to military effectiveness and lethality for over a year."
Estimates vary widely but some studies have shown there are between over 10,000 to over 15,000 transgender troops serving in the U.S. Military.
Last year a YouGov/The Economist poll found one third of Americans (34%) opposed allowing transgender troops to serve openly, and almost half (49%) supported open service by transgender troops.
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