Court partially blocks Trump's transgender military ban

District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly

A federal court on Monday partly blocked President Donald Trump's order that aims to keep transgender persons from joining the US armed forces.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the transgender service members who had sued over Trump's policy were likely to win their lawsuit.

People protest against US President Donald Trump's ban on transgender service members outside the US Army career center in Times Square, New York City, on August 25, 2017.

The Trump administration may appeal Kollar-Kotelly's decision, but for now, the proposed ban remains unenforceable. Transgender individuals were to be allowed to enlist in the military in June 2017, a timeline initially delayed under the Trump administration to January 1, 2018.

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"There is absolutely no support for the claim that the ongoing service of transgender people would have any negative effective on the military at all", she wrote.

After taking office, Trump moved to undo the changes Obama instigated, saying in a memo that allowing transgender people to serve could "disrupt unit cohesion" and "tax military resources".

However, the judge denied the plaintiff's motion to block the ban on funds for gender reassignment surgery. The memo also gave Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisPence to visit ICBM base McAfee stops allowing governments to review source code Terror designation for Iran's Revolutionary Guards a necessary first step MORE six months to determine what to do with transgender troops who are now serving. Many transgender individuals came out, being open about identities they had long hidden for fear of being discharged, and the military started preparing to enlist openly transgender people. The administration has sought to prohibit such payments; Kollar-Kotelly said she didn't have jurisdiction to rule on the issue because none of the plaintiffs in the case established a likelihood of being impacted by that prohibition. In late August, Mattis put a temporary freeze on the ban when he announced that he would wait to put the policy into effect until a team of experts completed a study determining the effects it would have on current service members.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, asked about the ruling at the White House briefing, said it was something that had just been announced and said the Justice Department was reviewing it.

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