Murphy picks another fight with Trump, this time over transgender National Guard membership

TRENTON – President Trump’s decision to go through with implementing transgender military regulations is giving Governor Phil Murphy a new opportunity to flout his social justice warrior street cred.

On Friday, the governor announced that New Jersey will follow the example of five other states – Nevada, Washington Oregon, California, and New Mexico – to permit transgender participation in the National Guard.

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“As I have stated before, President Trump’s policy targeting transgender individuals who wish to serve in our military is abhorrent and un-American,” said Governor Murphy in a statement. “I am proud to join with Governors in sister states, including California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington, in declaring firm opposition to this policy and announcing my intention to use every option available to allow transgender individuals to serve in the National Guard.  Under my administration, New Jersey has joined the multi-state coalition that has urged the courts to strike down the transgender ban as unconstitutional, and we will continue to fight this bigoted policy and defend the rights of all New Jersey residents.”

The “ban” does not impact soldiers previously diagnosed with “gender dysphoria.” Any and all transgender soldiers can continue their service provided they identify with their sex assigned at birth. The new rules do impact any prospective transgender service members and those who would like to transition and/or serve openly but were not diagnosed before the April 2019 deadline.

Whether Murphy is setting up yet another inevitable legal clash with the Trump Administration remains to be seen.

The National Guard is generally under the direct control of the individual U.S. states. You can find an interesting overview of how it all works here, courtesy of the National Constitution Center.

However, the federal government (embodied in this case by the executive branch) has the authority to activate and take control of national guardsmen units in certain situations such as in the case of a war or major national disaster. 

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