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Trump blocked by federal judge from delaying transgender troops from enlisting

Donald Trump James Mattis
President Donald J. Trump departs from the Pentagon alongside Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Jan. 27, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Photo: DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr

President Donald Trump is losing so much lately that he must be tired of losing.

The latest blow to the president’s agenda came on Monday when U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly blocked an attempt by the Trump administration to delay transgender troops enlisting in the military.

Kollar-Kotelly ruled back in October that the ban must be halted while it works its way through the courts, and reverted back to Obama era policy allowing trans soldiers to serve openly in the meantime.

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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. Mattis has been reviewing policy.

Monday’s clarification stated that the Trump administration must abide by the ruling, allowing openly trans people to join at the start of next year.

Last week, another federal judge, U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis, also ruled against the ban. Garbis then went further, ruling against blocking funding for gender confirmation surgery.

“Judge Kollar-Kotelly has once again confirmed that there is no legitimate reason to bar transgender people from military service,” said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter. We are pleased that Judge Kollar-Kotelly confirmed her prior ruling that on January 1, transgender people who can meet the same qualifications as others will be eligible to enlist.

January 1 means January 1,” said GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi. “That’s the date when the military can no longer deny transgender people from enlisting. The court’s earlier order was clear on that point. This latest ruling is an exclamation point, not that any was needed.”

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