A federal judge on Monday denied a
Trump administration request to delay the January 1, 2018 effective
date for transgender people to enlist in the military.
Defense Secretary James Mattis on June
30 announced that he was delaying by six months implementation of a
policy change allowing transgender people to enlist in the U.S.
military. The policy change was set to take effect the following
day. Several weeks later, President Donald Trump tweeted that
transgender troops will not be allowed to serve in the military.
Four lawsuits challenging the ban were filed.
In October, U.S. District Judge Colleen
Kollar-Kotelly issued a preliminary injunction which largely blocks
The Department of Justice asked
Kollar-Kotelly to clarify whether her order also covered Mattis' memo
delaying transgender enlistments.
“Out of abundance of caution,
however, defendants now seek clarification that, should the secretary
of defense exercise such discretion, the secretary's action would not
violate the court's Oct. 30, 2017, order,” DOJ attorneys wrote.
In her response, Kollar-Kotelly
explained that her ruling intended to reset the military policy on
transgender service members to the “status quo” before Trump's
“[A]ny action by any of the
defendants that changes this status quo is preliminarily enjoined,”
The lawsuit, Doe v. Trump, was
filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ
Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD).
“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,” NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter
said in a statement.
GLAD Transgender Rights Project
Director Jennifer Levi added: “January 1 means January 1. That's
the date when the military can no longer deny transgender people from
enlisting. The court's order was clear on that point. This latest
ruling is an exclamation point, not that any was needed.”
second ruling blocking Trump's ban on transgender troops was handed
down earlier this month.