SEATTLE — Katie Schmid remembers the moment everything changed.
“6:15 in the morning. It was a Wednesday,” she said standing outside in the rain at the federal courthouse in Seattle.
The decorated Army staff sergeant is one of the plaintiffs suing the government over the Trump administration transgender ban.
Tuesday’s late afternoon hearing was nearly filled to capacity, and is one of three challenges facing the White House.
Earlier this year, the president tweeted his plans to call for a ban on transgender troops. That set off orders to examine the issue, its costs and implications.
Some servicemen and women sued, saying their rights had been violated.
They believe the new government did a bait and switch on the Obama-era ruling allowing soldiers to come out and seek surgery if needed.
Lawyers suing the government used Trump`s own tweets against him, saying the president demanded the ban. The government provided little explanation of the benefit of kicking out volunteer soldiers.
“They have been preemptively branded by their Commander in Chief,” said attorney Peter Renn.
After the hearing, Schmid shared her passion for service and the need to be authentic.
“While I was recognized for my work prior to coming out, having to hide who I was prevented me from having full confidence as a leader and forging strong relationships with others in my unit,” Schmid said.
The government had to defend Trump's tweets.
They say that his just a pause on surgeries and acceptance of transgender servicemembers, and that the soldiers can't be harmed by something that could change in the future.
Judge Marsha Pechman said she will issue her ruling on or before December 8.
On Tuesday afternoon, a Baltimore judge ruled against the ban.
Renn and Schmid want the Seattle case to go forward, though, in case the government tries to appeal.