The Trump administration has asked a
federal judge 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 no longer be able to serve “in any
capacity.” 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. The judge explained that her
ruling reset the military policy on transgender service members to
the “status quo” before Trump announced his ban.
According to POLITICO,
the Trump administration has asked for a delay in the order while the
Pentagon reviews the issue.
“Compelling the military to implement
a new accessions policy while it is simultaneously completing a
comprehensive study of military service by transgender individuals
that may soon result in the adoption of different accessions
standards would waste significant military resources and sow
unnecessary confusion among service members and applicants,” the
DOJ argues in its latest motion.
The lawsuit, Doe v. Trump, was
filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ
Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD).
“This is the government’s further
efforts to put off what the judge has ordered, which is that
transgender people have to be allowed to enlist as of Jan. 1,” GLAD
Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi told POLITICO. “The
government has known this for a long time – both before the
lawsuit, and since the judge ordered the military not to reverse the
policy it had adopted allowing transgender people to enlist.”