A Federal Judge Just Blocked Donald Trump's Transgender Military Ban

A court rejected President Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military, essentially reinstating a previous policy that allowed them to serve.

U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued a preliminary injunction against a proposal from the Trump administration that would have barred transgender persons from joining the military and would have forced now serving transgender troops to be discharged.

Trump announced on Twitter in July that the "the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military". The judge also added that she believed the plaintiffs challenging Trump's military transgender ban would ultimately win their case based on their argument that the ban violates their Fifth Amendment rights.

In a ruling handed down on Monday, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly blocked parts of Trump's ban related to "accession and retention". Transgender individuals were to be allowed to enlist in the military in June 2017, a timeline initially delayed under the Trump administration to January 1, 2018. "We are grateful to the court for recognizing the gravity of these issues and putting a stop to this unsafe policy, which has wreaked havoc in the lives of transgender service members and their families".

"There is absolutely no support for the claim that the ongoing service of transgender people would have any negative effective on the military at all", she wrote.

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At the same time, however, she dismissed the plaintiffs' motion to block a ban on funding for sex-reassignment surgery.

The lawsuit was filed in August by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) on behalf of eight transgender individuals, including service members in the Air Force, Coast Guard and the Army, as well as students at the U.S. Naval Academy and in the ROTC program at the University of New Haven. Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.

The government could decide to appeal the preliminary injunction issued by the court, which prohibits the military from enforcing the ban.

Trump's memo, which he formally issued in August, not only banned new transgender recruits from joining the military, but it also issued guidance instructing the Pentagon not to pay for any more gender reassignment surgeries for military personnel.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, asked about the ruling at the White House briefing, said it was something that had just been announced and said the Justice Department was reviewing it.

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