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Federal appeals court will allow the transgender military ban to go into effect in April

Silhouettes of troops on the transgender flag
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A federal appeals court issued a mandate that will allow the transgender military ban to go into effect on April 12.

The legal back-and-forth over the implementation of the ban has gone on for years since Donald Trump first tweeted that he would be banning transgender people from the military in 2017.

Four federal courts issued injunctions against the ban until lawsuits over the ban could be decided in court.

In January, an appeals court in D.C. rejected one of the injunctions. The Supreme Court overturned two others several weeks later, and observers wondered if the decision applied to the fourth injunction, which was still being reviewed by the trial court judge.

Earlier this month, though, the judge in the fourth case removed his injunction, citing the Supreme Court decision.

Related: Cory Booker says he’ll repeal the transgender military ban if elected

The Justice Department declared in a notice in the cases that the military would begin to implement the ban, and the military issued guidance that said that transgender people in the military would no longer be allowed to start their transitions and transgender people could not be recruited after April 12.

But Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who is presiding over the Doe v. Trump challenge to the ban, rebuked the Trump administration last week for attempting to bypass due process and implement the ban without allowing plaintiffs time to file for a rehearing.

Now the same appeals court that overturned her preliminary injunction has issued a mandate allowing the Trump administration to go ahead with the ban, several days before the waiting period was supposed to end.

“The government’s plan is already wreaking havoc in the lives of dedicated transgender troops who must now face the grim choice of suppressing their identity or leaving military service, to the detriment of their fellow service members and national security,” the National Center for Lesbian Rights said in a statement.

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