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Federal Judge Rules That Military Should Implement the Plan to Allow Transgender Recruits


Two early injunctions in DC and Maryland were challenging Trump’s order to overturn the Obama-era policies that were meant to allow transgender recruits in the military. A ruling issued by federal judge clarified that the military should move forward with the plan to allow transgender recruits that was scheduled to start on Jan 1, 2018.

The trump administration has already declared that it will be appealing the DC-based injunction that was issued by US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. However, before the Justice Department filed notice to appeal the injunction, it asked the Judge to clarify that her court’s injunction didn’t impede the Defense Secretary James Mattis the prerogative of exercising his discretion to defer the accession of the transgender military service Obama-era order on January 1, 2018. Under an order issued earlier by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in 2016, the military was supposed to have started implementing the new accession policies of allowing transgender military recruits by July 1, 2017, if the candidates met the department’s requirements.

However, Mattis succeeded in pushing the date back to January 1, 2018. Kollar-Kotelly’s disregarded the Justice Department’s expectations of allowing Mattis to keep delaying the date, by clarifying that the Jan 1, 2018, date has to stay. The court made it clear that the effect of the issuance of its order was meant to change the status quo regarding accession and retention that existed before the Presidential Memorandum of the Trump administration was issued. So, the debate is likely to continue in the coming months.

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