Trump blocked by federal judge from delaying transgender troops from enlisting

29 November, 2017, 01:21 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Trump blocked by federal judge from delaying transgender troops from enlisting

"We are pleased that Judge Kollar-Kotelly confirmed her prior ruling that on January 1, transgender people who can meet the same qualifications as others will be eligible to enlist".

A federal judge on Monday ruled that the government must allow transgender people to enlist in the military beginning on January 1, 2018. 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".

At the time, the block was only understood to prevent the dismissal of currently-serving transgender troops, on the basis that the six active-duty troops now suing the administration to have the ban declared unconstitutional were likely to win. He made it official with a memorandum in August, saying it was unclear whether transgender troops serving openly would impact "military readiness and lethality" and claiming any medical needs of transgender individuals, like gender reassignment surgeries and hormones, would be too expensive for the Department of Defense to pay for. He argued, "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming ... victory and can not be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail".

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The controversial policy on banning transgender people in the military was brought into effect after President Trump announced in a series of tweets July that the "tremendous medical costs and disruption" of transgender troops in the military could not be afforded by American forces.

In the ruling Monday, Kollar-Kotelly clarified Mattis can't delay the date further and the military must continue to follow the Obama administration's transgender recruiting policies by January 1, 2018.

In August, the judge released a lengthy memo accompanying her ruling in which she said the plaintiffs in the case, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, are likely to succeed by arguing that the president's transgender ban violates their Fifth Amendment right to due process.

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"Any action by any of the Defendants that changes this status quo is preliminarily enjoined", she concluded, underlining the text for emphasis. He said the department would use the time to further study the issue. Which will, of course, take no small amount of time, meaning that by the time they wend their way there, it may be that transgender recruits have been serving in the military with no issue for several years. But for now, there's no more trans military ban until further notice.

Trump's ban didn't make it three months before meeting rebuke in Kollar-Kotelly's D.C. court ruling. And that's a lovely thing.

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