Federal judge rebukes Trump & says he can’t institute the trans military ban after all

The transgender flag held up by several people
Protesters raised the transgender flag outside the White House in July, 2017, to denounce Trump's transgender military ban. Photo: Ted Eytan/Flickr

A federal judge just rebuked the Trump administration for saying that it would implement its transgender military ban, arguing that one of the injunctions against the ban in still in place.

District court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who is hearing the Doe v. Trump challenge to the ban, issued a notice that her injunction, which prevents the military from implementing a ban on transgender servicemembers, is still in place.

There are four federal cases against the transgender military ban, and all of them had issued injunctions against the ban as of last year.

In January, an appeals court overturned Kollar-Kotelly’s injunction against the ban.

Several weeks later, the Supreme Court overturned two others. The fourth was lifted earlier this month.

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

The Justice Department filed a notice in the cases saying that the military would begin to implement the ban, and the Defense Department issued a memo that said that transgender people would no longer be allowed to sign up for the military starting on April 12, 2019. People already in the military would also be prohibited from transitioning.

But Kollar-Kotelly ruled on Tuesday that the appeals court’s decision could still change.

The appeals court decision said that the plaintiffs in the case would have 21 days to ask for a rehearing after the judge’s separate opinion were filed, and they were filed on March 8. The plaintiffs have until March 29 to ask for a rehearing.

After that, the appeals court would have to issue a mandate vacating the injunction.

“The fact that the three other nationwide preliminary injunctions which had been in place are now stayed has no impact on the continued effectiveness of this Court’s preliminary injunction,” Kollar-Kotelly wrote in her notice.

She wrote that the military must “maintain the status quo as it related to the accession and retention of transgender individuals in the military.”

“We are grateful for the district court’s clarity in stating, unequivocally, that the injunction against the transgender military ban remains in place,” said Jennifer Levi, an attorney for GLAD, which is working on the case.

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