Federal Judge Says US Military Must Accept Transgender Troops In New Year


Federal Judge Says US Military Must Accept Transgender Troops In New Year

A federal court on Monday issued a clarification that the USA military must take transgender service members by January 1, after partially blocking President Trump's transgender policy in an earlier ruling. On that day, US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the District of Columbia issued a preliminary injunction blocking President Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the US military, originally announced over Twitter on July 26, from going into effect.

Kollar-Kotelly ruled back in October that the ban must be halted while it works its way through the courts, and reverted back to Obama era policy allowing trans soldiers to serve openly in the meantime.

The Justice Department had filed an appeal to the injunction and also requested Kollar-Kotelly to clarify if the injunction prohibits Defense Secretary Jim Mattis "from exercising his discretion to defer the January 1, 2018 date".

Kollar-Kotelly explains her order intended to revert the military's policy on transgender troops to the "status quo" before Trump issued his directive banning transgender military service, which means the Mattis memo is now lawful policy. Several weeks later, President Donald Trump tweeted that transgender troops will not be allowed to serve in the military.

A federal court has clarified DOD can't delay transgender enlistments beyond January 1. Judge Kollar-Kotelly has written that she considers these lawsuits as "likely to succeed" because the president's transgender ban violates their Fifth Amendment right to due process.

"Any action by any of the Defendants that changes this status quo is preliminarily enjoined", Kollar-Kotelly added.

The ruling came after Trump issued a presidential order in August that the military stop enlisting transgender people and not to use funds to pay for gender transition-related surgery. Along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLAD is representing five military servicepeople who are suing the administration over its transgender ban. In a parallel lawsuit, Maryland-based federal Judge Marvin Garbis last week temporarily blocked Trump's directive and called his tweets about the policy change "shocking" as well as "capricious, arbitrary and unqualified".

Supposedly, he did not consult any now serving military officials about the futures of what a 2016 RAND study says is somewhere between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender service members in active duty and 830 to 4,160 members on reserve. There are now two federal court injunctions against the President's transgender military ban. The second injunction was issued Monday to clarify that the Department of Defense can not defer the January 1 deadline for allowing enlistment any further, according to court documents.

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