Transgender people can enlist in military on January 1, judge says

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A federal judge has ruled that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis can not further delay opening the military to transgender recruits, which clears the way for transgender people to enlist January 1.

Kollar-Kotelly isn't the first federal judge to rule against Trump's ban. After the Justice Department reached out to Kollar-Kotelly, the judge clarified that the USA military must begin accepting openly transgender troops by January.

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.

Mattis issued his memo on June 30 to delay transgender enlistments, which were set to begin at that time as result of a policy change during the Obama administration under Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, until January 1 in response to a request from military service chiefs for more time to implement the policy. Trump Defense Secretary James Mattis had already pushed that date back to January 1, 2018 before Trump's fateful tweets.

The judge issued the clarification memo just yesterday even though the ban was blocked back in October.

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President Barack Obama previously moved to undo the military's ban on openly serving trans troops, which was originally set to go into effect over the summer.

To clarify on whether Mattis is free to extend the ban on transgender enlistments any further, Kollar-Kotelly writes "any action by any of the defendants that changes this status quo is preliminarily enjoined".

President Donald Trump's administration is already appealing the October decision. "Based on the circumstances surrounding the President's announcement and the departure from normal procedure, the court agrees wit the D.C. court that there is sufficient support for plaintiff's claims that 'the decision to exclude transgender individuals was not derived by genuine concern regarding military efficacy".

Today's order and her previous injunction came in the case of Doe v. Trump, a suit filed in August by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Advocates and Defenders on behalf of trans service members and trans people enrolled in academic military training programs. And while all of the injunctions issued thus far are only in place pending the resolution of particular lawsuits, it seems likely that these cases will have to proceed all the way to the Supreme Court for the Trump administration to have a chance of prevailing.

The Trump trans military ban issued via Twitter in July 2017 was always based on flimsy reasoning: The U.S. President consulted no now serving military officials about it and lied about the military not being able to absorb the cost of trans healthcare (even though the military spends five times more money on Viagra).

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