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U.S. Court Blocks Trump's Transgender Military Ban

President Trump's Transgender Military Ban Just Hit a Major Legal Snag

On Oct. 30, a federal court partially blocked President Donald Trump's attempt to ban transgender soldiers from the United States military. The decision came from from Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who stated that the ban cannot be enforced while the case is being reviewed in court. In a 76-page memo that accompanied the ruling, Kollar-Kotelly wrote that the government's arguments in favor of the ban "appear to be hypothetical and extremely overbroad." She also noted in that memo that "all of the reasons proffered by the president for excluding transgender individuals from the military in this case were not merely unsupported, but were actually contradicted by the studies, conclusions and judgment of the military itself."

The court ruling is the latest of many roadblocks Trump's ban has faced since he first tweeted about it in late July. Mere weeks after his announcement, five active-duty transgender service members filed a lawsuit against the President, suing on the grounds of unconstitutional discrimination and arguing that the ban would violate the Fifth Amendment. These cases are what Kollar-Kotelly took into consideration for her own deliberation and ruling. And though Trump signed a memo to move forward with the ban in August, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said in September that the policy allowing transgender military members to serve would remain in place pending further study.

While it may seem like the court's latest blockage and the already imposed freeze may just be delaying the inevitable, the plaintiffs in this case — the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) — consider the decision to be a significant win. "This is a complete victory for our plaintiffs and all transgender service members," NCLR legal director Shannon Minter said in an official statement, "who are now once again able to serve on equal terms and without the threat of being discharged."

Image Source: Getty / John Moore
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