A federal judge on Monday rejected a
Trump administration request to delay the January 1, 2018 effective
date of transgender people enlisting in the U.S. military.
The government argued that the military
is not ready to accept transgender recruits and that it would be
unproductive to accept transgender recruits considering its stated
goal of prohibiting transgender people from serving in the military.
U.S. District Judge Colleen
Kollar-Kotelly disagreed, saying that the Pentagon has had more than
18 months to prepare.
“For more than a year preceding the
summer of 2017, it was the policy and intention of the military that
transgender individuals would soon begin to accede,” Kollar-Kotelly
said. “Moreover, the court issued the preliminary injunction in
this case approximately six weeks ago, and since then defendants have
been on notice that they would be required to implement the
previously established policy of beginning to accept transgender
individuals on January 1, 2018. In other words, with only a brief
hiatus, defendants have had the opportunity to prepare for the
accession of transgender individuals into the military for nearly one
and a half years.”
In October, Kollar-Kotelly partially
blocked implementation of President Donald Trump's ban on transgender
troops, which he first announced on Twitter.
According to the AP, the Pentagon
announced prior to the judge's ruling that it would allow transgender
people into the armed forces starting on January 1.
But White House Press Secretary Sarah
Huckabee Sanders told reporters that the Justice Department is
“currently reviewing the legal options to ensure that the
president's directive can be implemented.”