Will DOJ Continue Legal Fight?
The Pentagon has just announced it will be accepting transgender recruits as of January 1, honoring its previous plans and several recent court orders. A Justice Department filing last week attempted but failed to overturn that November ruling. The Commander-in-Chief since July 26 has been trying to ban all transgender service members from the U.S. military, even against the advice of top military brass.
Late last week the DOJ asked a federal court to block the court-ordered plan to allow transgender recruits to sign up and join the military.
Earlier Monday District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly rejected the Trump administration's request to block transgender recruits. NCLR and GLAD are suing the Trump administration.
Monday afternoon The Associated Press reported (somewhat inaccurately) the Pentagon has announced "it will allow transgender people to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1, despite Trump's opposition." The Pentagon is following today's court ruling.
The AP adds, "The new policy reflects growing legal pressure on the issue and the difficult hurdles the federal government would have to cross to enforce Trump's demand to ban transgender individuals from the military. Two federal courts already have ruled against the ban."
"Trump administration claims that our highly sophisticated military is unprepared to implement a minor policy change after more than a year of preparation are simply not credible," NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter said in a statement sent to NCRM. "The military has studied this issue extensively and determined that permitting qualified transgender people to enlist and serve will only strengthen our nation's armed forces. This administration's claim that allowing transgender people to enlist will lessen military preparedness is contradicted by the military's own conclusions."
"It's time to stop stalling and move forward," GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi also said in that statement. "The military has had nearly a year and a half to be ready to implement an enlistment policy its own leaders created and adopted. High ranking military leaders who oversaw training when the military made the first changes to transgender service policies have said the military is ready to accept transgender enlistees. This administration needs to stop creating fake problems and get on with it."
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.
This article has been updated to note the AP's reporting does not include today's court order.
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