Federal Judge Clarifies That Yes, Trans People Can Enlist In the Military While Courts Debate Trump’s Shitty Ban
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A federal court has clarified that the U.S. military must move
forward with accepting transgender recruits beginning on
January 1, 2018, following a ruling that Trump’s attempt to ban
trans service members cannot be enforced while the case is
reviewed in court.
According to Buzzfeed, the Justice Department is in the
process of of appealing an injunction issued last month by U.S.
District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, though it first asked
her to clarify whether that injunction would also stop Defense
Secretary James Mattis from “exercising his discretion to defer
the January 1, 2018 effective date for the accession.” In other
words, the Justice Department wanted to make sure that trans
people wouldn’t be allowed to enlist while the courts debated
the constitutionality of Trump’s ban. The answer is not what it
was hoping for!
In 2016, Obama administration Defense Secretary Ashton Carter
issued an order stating that the military would begin allowing
transgender people to join the military by July 1, 207—a date
that Mattis pushed back to January 1, 2018. But instead of
confirming that Mattis would be allowed to defer the date
again, Kollar-Kotelly went the other way, solidifying it
As Kollar-Kotelly wrote:
“The Court explained that the effect of its Order was to
revert to the status quo with regard to accession and
retention that existed before the issuance of the [Trump]
Presidential Memorandum,” she wrote. “Those policies allowed
for the accession of transgender individuals into the
military beginning on January 1, 2018. Any action by any of
the Defendants that changes this status quo is preliminarily
As of now, two federal judges—one in Maryland; another in
D.C.—have filed injunctions blocking Trump’s order.