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Federal Judge Orders Military To Begin Accepting Transgender Troops By January 1

EQUALITY

Federal Judge Orders Military To Begin Accepting Transgender Troops By January 1




A federal judge clarified Monday that her ruling against the Trump administration requires that the U.S. military must allow transgender people to begin enlisting by January 1, after partially blocking President Trump’s transgender policy in an earlier ruling.

Last month, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on the U.S. District Court ruled that the president’s decree to ban new transgender recruits from joining the military, as well as potentially purging current transgender members, cannot be enforced while the case is being reviewed in court.

Judge Kollar-Kotelly wrote that her injunction requires the military to continue to follow the policies established by former President Barack Obama’s “June 30, 2016 Directive-type Memorandum,” which allowed transgender individuals to enlist beginning on January 1.

“Any action by any of the Defendants that changes this status quo is preliminarily enjoined,” Kollar-Kotelly wrote in the Monday memo.

The judge’s memo also gave Defense Secretary James Mattis six-months to assess the role of transgender troops who are currently serving in the U.S. military.



The Hill adds:

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. The two groups sued in August on behalf of six unnamed service members and two recruits.

“The court finds that a number of factors—including the sheer breadth of the exclusion ordered by the directives, the unusual circumstances surrounding the President’s announcement of them, the fact that the reasons given for them do not appear to be supported by any facts, and the recent rejection of those reasons by the military itself — strongly suggest that Plaintiffs’ Fifth Amendment claim is meritorious,” she wrote last month.



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