Central PA's LGBT News Source

Judge to Trump

Trans ban is a no go


A federal judge Oct. 30 suspended President Trump’s executive order reinstating a ban on transgender military service, according to ThinkProgress.com.

The preliminary injunction will prevent transgender people who are currently serving from losing their jobs, but does open the door allowing openly transgender people to enlist.

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a Clinton appointee, re-established the status quo from prior to Trump’s order reinstating the ban; the judge, however, allowed for Defense Secretary James Mattis’ June modification, which delayed the transgender enlistment policy. Accession of transgender troops was set to begin July 1, but Mattis instituted a six-month delay on that policy.

The new decision maintains that delay.

Much of the decision focuses on issues of legal standing. The Trump administration had argued that because the ban wasn’t set to take effect until March, it didn’t actually impact anybody yet so nobody had grounds to challenge it. They also implied that because further study was underway, it wasn’t certain the policy even would be implemented according to the schedule laid out in the order. Kollar-Kotelly was not persuaded.

“These arguments, while perhaps compelling in the abstract, wither away under scrutiny,” the decision reads. “The Memorandum unequivocally directs the military to prohibit indefinitely the accession of transgender individuals and to authorize their discharge. This decision has already been made. These directives must be executed by a date certain, and there is no reason to believe that they will not be executed.”

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund last month filed an amicus or “friend of the court” brief with the federal court in Washington, D.C. in support of the lawsuit against the ban, Doe v. Trump, brought by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) on behalf of transgender troops.

Joining the brief, in addition to TLDEF, were the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition, TGI Network of Rhode Island, Transgender Allies Group, TransOhio, Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, and Southern Arizona Gender Alliance.