• Lexi Ponder

Judge temporarily blocks President Trump’s ban on transgender military members

On Oct. 30, 2017, a federal U.S. judge temporarily put a halt on President Trump’s ban of transgender citizens serving in the military. According to CNN, “Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly blocked provisions of the memorandum concerning the enlistment and retention of transgender military service members, holding 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.’”

Judge Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia said, according to CNN, “that the plaintiffs – current and aspiring service members who are transgender – are ‘likely to succeed’ on their due process claims.” Her order was to “revert the status quo” that existed before the decision was issued on Aug. 25, 2017. This memo indefinitely extended the prohibition of transgender citizens into the U.S. military and required the military to authorize, no later than March 23, 2018, the discharge of transgender members.

According to CNN, “Trump administration lawyers had asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that it was premature because the Pentagon is currently studying how to implement the President’s directive and no action would be taken until after the policy review is complete.” Judge Kollar-Kotelly has declined to wait, ruling that even though the policy was still up for review, the government’s arguments “wither away under scrutiny.”

The Justice Department spokeswoman Lauren Ehrsam said that the department disagrees with Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling, and they are currently evaluating the next steps.