Pentagon Says New Policy 'Will Be Forthcoming'
A federal judge in Maryland lifted his block preventing President Donald Trump's ban on transgender service members to go into effect. Citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, U.S. District Judge George Russell III says he has no choice but to comply with the top court's decision, as The Washington Blade reports.
In response, the Pentagon say a new policy – presumably having the effect of a full ban on all transgender service members in the U.S. Armed Forces – will be announced soon.
Today, a spokesperson for the Defense Department also issued this statement saying the Maryland injunction was the last one and that a new policy would be coming soon. pic.twitter.com/XD06FTmUn5
— Dominic Holden (@dominicholden) March 7, 2019
But some legal advocates say there is a remaining court battle that has not been resolved.
"Although courts have now lifted each of the initial injunctions, transgender advocates say the order from [Judge] Kollar-Kotelly remains in effect, keeping openly transgender service in place for the time being," The Blade explains.
"The order from the U.S. Circuit of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, transgender advocates say, contain a provision keeping the Kollar-Kotelly order intact to give the legal team supporting transgender plaintiffs to seek 'en banc' review before the full court."
GLAD Law says there is still a final injunction blocking Trump's ban against transgender troops:
Important: today's MD District Court ruling did NOT lift the final injunction blocking the #TransMilitaryBan. The Doe v Trump injunction is still in place pending release of further opinions from the DC Circuit. Read this thread for more, and see https://t.co/Wnh0JI5NK0 https://t.co/ifz7rDGbtm
— GLAD (@GLADLaw) March 7, 2019
On July 26, 2017, with no consultation with his generals or any military chiefs, and reportedly at the behest of Vice President Mike Pence, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, President Trump announced a complete and total ban on all transgender military service personnel would be enacted immediately. He did so via a series of tweets that were a total surprise to the Pentagon.
Later, President Trump met in the White House with lobbyist Ginni Thomas, the spouse of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Among the topics discussed was her request to remove from the U.S. Armed Forces transgender service members and women.
It will have taken about a year and a half, but it appears the President is likely to get his wish.
See a mistake? Email corrections to: [email protected]