Federal Court Suspends Trump’s Ban on Transgender Service Members

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A federal judge in Washington, DC has suspended Donald Trump’s
executive order which reversed the military’s policy on
transgender troops.

In July, the president announced on Twitter that he would
reinstate a ban preventing transgender people from serving
openly in the military. The ban had been lifted under President
Obama, a year prior to Trump’s tweet, but remained a target for
social conservatives. The Obama-era order was set to be
implemented in July but was delayed for six months by the
Pentagon. Those plans changed when Trump tweeted.

In his July tweet, the president argued that the American
military could not afford the “tremendous medical costs and
disruption that transgender in the military would entail.” The
decision was born of the discriminatory policies that drive the
Trump administration since the costs of health care for
transgender service members was found to be “negligible.” Trump’s
decision was a surprise to the Pentagon and in August,
Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced that transgender
service members would be allowed to remain in the military
while the issue was studied.

Today’s decision from District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly
granted a preliminary injunction on Trump’s ban but granted the
Pentagon that earlier six-month delay. Kollar-Kotelly’s
injunction will prevent current service members from being
discharged because they are transgender. She argued that
transgender service members that challenged Trump’s executive
order in a lawsuit were likely to be successful adding
that due to that likelihood, the Trump administration was not
allowed to go forward with its reversal.

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