Trump blocked by federal judge from delaying transgender troops from enlisting

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The ruling clarifies an earlier decision in the case of Doe v. Trump that blocked President Trump's transgender military ban.

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.

Granting a preliminary injunction against the Trump administration's transgender military ban, a federal judge ordered the Pentagon to accept transgender recruits starting Jan.1, 2018.

On top of that, Defense Secretary James Mattis is to use "a six-month deadline to assess the role of transgender troops who are now serving in the USA military".

The Trump administration appealed that court ruling last week, and sought clarification on whether General James Mattis was prohibited from delaying the date at which trans soldiers can enlist, January 1, 2018.

In the ruling Monday, Kollar-Kotelly clarified Mattis can't delay the date further and the military must continue to follow the Obama administration's transgender recruiting policies by January 1, 2018.

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"Any action by any of the Defendants that changes this status quo is preliminarily enjoined", Kollar-Kotelly wrote in the Monday memo. In that memo, Mattis set the new enlistment deadline to January 1, 2018. Last week, U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis issued a second order against Trump's policy as a result of a separate lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

In her ruling in October, Kollar-Kotelly said the ban of transgender people in the military was "disapproval of transgender people generally".

Transgender service members are anxious that their new commander-in-chief is attempting to reverse the policy and transgender people may not be able to serve in "any capacity".

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 Trump administration is appealing the decision.

However, in his ruling, Garbis declared that the plaintiffs challenging the ban in the case under his purview had "demonstrated that they are already suffering harmful consequences such as the cancellation and postponements of surgeries, the stigma of being set apart as inherently unfit, facing the prospect of discharge and inability to commission as an officer, the inability to move forward with long-term medical plans, and the threat to their prospects of obtaining long-term assignments". He said the department would use the time to further study the issue.