Federal judge to Trump: You can’t stop transgender people from joining the military

"January 1 means January 1."

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Trump administration was handed another loss in the federal courts on Monday over its attempt to ban transgender people from the military.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly clarified that the ruling she made on Oct. 30, in Doe v. Trump, halting the ban on trans soldiers while the issue winds through the courts, and reverting policy back to before the ban was instituted.

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Last week, on the same day that another federal judge, U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis, also blocked the ban, the Trump administration appealed Kollar-Kotelly’s decision. It also asked for clarification on whether or not General James Mattis was prohibited from delaying trans solders from entering into the military on Jan. 1, 2018.

Mattis has been reviewing the policy after the announcement was first made by Trump in a series of tweets, followed by his signing a a directive in August to make the policy official. It was immediately challenged in the courts.

Kollar-Kotelly confirmed that the ruling in October meant the Trump administration cannot stop openly trans individuals from entering into the armed services at the start of next year.

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Garbis’ ruling went even further than that by Kollar-Kotelly, ruling that the Trump administration could also not refuse to pay for gender confirmation surgery for enlisted transgender soldiers.

“Judge Kollar-Kotelly has once again confirmed that there is no legitimate reason to bar transgender people from military service,” said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter. 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.

January 1 means January 1,” said GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi. “That’s the date when the military can no longer deny transgender people from enlisting. The court’s earlier order was clear on that point. This latest ruling is an exclamation point, not that any was needed.”

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Posted by Jeff Taylor / Social Media Editor

Jeff Taylor is a journalist and artist. In addition to QNotes, his work has appeared in publications such The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing Charlotte, Inside Lacrosse, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. He graduated from the State University of New York at Brockport and has lived in Charlotte since 2006.@jefftaylorhuman.