Duckworth, in a statement Tuesday, railed against the high court’s 5-4 ruling allowing Trump’s administration to enforce the restriction, recalling her near-death battlefield experience relying on fellow soldiers for survival.
“When I was bleeding to death in my Black Hawk helicopter on that dusty field in Iraq, I didn’t care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender, black, white, male or female,” Duckworth said. “All that mattered was they didn’t leave me behind.”
The senator called the Supreme Court’s decision “disheartening,” and warned “it will help the Trump Administration discriminate against an ever-shrinking portion of our population who are willing to serve in uniform” and allow it “to further disrupt to our military and weaken our national security.”
The Trump policy reverses the Obama-era move to allow transgender people to serve in the military. The Supreme Court didn’t judge the legality of Trump’s ban, but allowed the administration to enforce it while lower courts hear arguments.
Duckworth called upon Washington to embrace all individuals willing to serve.
“I hope the Court takes up this case and loudly and clearly tells the Administration that this sort of discrimination has no place in our military, and I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Congress will send the same message and show our servicemembers that we have their backs,” Duckworth said.