Transgender troops will be allowed to serve in the U.S. military starting Jan. 1, a federal judge has ruled.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly clarified this week a previous injunction issued in October that said the U.S. military must adhere to former President Barack Obama’s 2016 memo.The decision comes as President Donald Trump has tried to ban openly transgender troops from serving in the military.
His ban would have fully taken effect in March 2018, but the judge’s ruling may bar that from happening.
In her ruling, she also said that Defense Secretary James Mattis does not have the discretion to delay the start of recruitment of openly transgender troops.
This is the second time a judge has blocked Trump’s plans for a ban on transgender military soldiers.
U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis in Baltimore ruled in November that the ban lacked justification and “cannot possibly constitute a legitimate governmental interest.”
In response, the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit against Trump’s ban, said they were happy with the judge’s decision.
"We're pleased that the courts have stepped in to ensure that trans service members are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve," said attorney Joshua Block in November.
Meanwhile, conservative groups, such as the Family Research Council, say that judicial power is becoming too strong.
"This is where judicial activism is leading us. The courts have moved beyond legislating on the invented rights of abortion and same-sex marriage to clearly usurping the constitutional authority of the executive branch," said FRC President Tony Perkins, a Marine veteran, in October.
Among Trump’s attempt to ban transgender military members, he has tried to block government funds from being used for sex-reassignment surgeries for active soldiers.
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Publication date: November 29, 2017