The Supreme Court revived the Trump administration’s ban that bars most transgender people from serving in the military, according to the New York Times.

In a 5 to 4 vote, the court’s five conservatives (Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh) allowed the restrictions to go into effect while the cases that challenge it will move forward in the lower courts.

The policy, which President Trump announced on Twitter, bans people who identify with a gender different from their assigned sex at birth from serving in the military. The ban makes exceptions for transgender people who are currently already serving, and for trans people willing to serve as their assigned sex at birth.

“Unfortunately, the court’s stay of the lower courts’ preliminary orders means that courageous transgender service members will face discharges while challenges to the ban go forward,” Jennifer Levi, director of the Transgender Rights Project of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, tells the New York Times. “The Trump administration’s cruel obsession with ridding our military of dedicated and capable service members because they happen to be transgender defies reason and cannot survive legal review.”

Transgender people have been serving openly in all branches of the military since June 2016, and have been permitted to enlist since January 2018, according to a brief in opposition of the ban that was written by lawyers defending current and prospective members of the military.

By the government’s numbers in 2016, there were approximately 8,980 transgender military service members. During the Obama administration, 937 members began or completed transitioning.

GLAD released a statement on the ban, and attorneys from GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) represent plaintiffs in two cases challenging the ban.

“Thousands of brave transgender troops around the world are currently serving our nation with honor,” Rick Zbur, Executive Director at Equality California, says in GLAD’s statement. “Their patriotism and sacrifice should be celebrated, not cruelly dismissed by a president who clearly cares more about delivering on campaign promises than he does about our national security.”

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