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Federal Court Blocks Trump’s Transgender Military Ban

WASHINGTON – A federal court blocked the enforcement of President Trump’s ban on transgender service members on Monday.

The order by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly will temporarily prevent the Pentagon from overturning Obama Era policies that allowed transgender troops to serve. The court has found that the ban likely violates the rights to due process of the transgender troops who are currently serving.

“..the fact that the reasons given for them do not appear to be supported by any facts.." - U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly

Kollar-Kotelly, cited multiple factors in the favor of the plaintiffs over the reasons for the ban, stating, “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.” Kollar-Kotelly also added that the plaintiffs "have established that they will be injured by these directives, due both to the inherent inequality they impose, and the risk of discharge and denial of accession that they engender."

The Judge also stated that Trump’s Twitter announcement of the ban came "without any of the formality or deliberative processes that generally accompany the development and announcement of major policy changes that will gravely affect the lives of many Americans." The effect of the judges order is to "revert to the status quo" that existed before the Trump administration’s memo that was issued on August 25th.

Trump administration lawyers had asked the federal courts to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that the Pentagon is currently studying how to implement the policy and that no further action would be taken until it had been completed. Kollar-Kotelly ruled that even though the policy is under review, the government's arguments "wither away under scrutiny,’ and that there was no reason to wait. "The memorandum unequivocally directs the military to prohibit indefinitely the accession of transgender individuals and to authorize their discharge," she wrote, "this decision has already been made."

In response to the ruling, Justice Department spokeswoman Lauren Ehrsam said, "We disagree with the court's ruling and are currently evaluating the next steps."

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