Washington D.C. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued the injunction in October ruling Trump's memo may not be enforced while a lawsuit by a group of transgender military members works its way through the courts.
In October, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that Trump's order to ban new transgender recruits from joining the military can not be enforced while the case is being reviewed in court.
The request from the Justice Department last week asserts Kollar-Kotelly couldn't have meant her order bars Defense Secretary James Mattis from extending his delay on transgender accessions beyond the January 1 target date because plaintiffs "only sought prospective relief to enjoin the secretary from implementing the president's memorandum", which was a measure subsequent to Mattis' memo.
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As The Hill reports, the memo states: "that [Kollar-Kotelly's] injunction means that the military must continue to follow the policies established by former President Barack Obama's 'June 30, 2016 Directive-type Memorandum, ' which allowed transgender individuals to enlist beginning on January 1". Trump Defense Secretary James Mattis had already pushed that date back to January 1, 2018 before Trump's fateful tweets. "Any action by any of the Defendants that changes this status quo is preliminarily enjoined".
Two weeks before Trump issued his official memo instating the ban in late August, two LGBTQ organizations filed lawsuits against the ban, representing six now serving trans military members and two recruits.
Mattis on June 30 delayed the plan, one day before the military was slated to open to transgender recruits per the Obama-era policy. Kollar-Kotelly's October 22 ruling had not ruled on this particular aspect of the ban, as she found that the six plaintiffs in that case were not likely to be affected by that aspect of the ban. "As the court has already determined, there is no justification for excluding transgender people from military service".
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GLAD and The National Center for Lesbian Rights represent the five longtime transgender military service members who sued the government in August, claiming that Trump's efforts to ban transgender people from military service was unconstitutional and denied them equal rights and due process.
The White House in an August memo pushed the deadline indefinitely past January 1 and until Mattis provides the White House with "convincing" reasoning for opening the military to transgender recruits. He said the department would use the time to further study the issue.
Garbis' order will not only temporarily allows transgender troops to openly enlist in the military, but also allows current service members to receive any scheduled transition-related medical care, according to court documents obtained by NPR.
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