Pentagon: We Have Begun Implementing Trump’s Transgender Troop Ban. Federal Judge: Not So Fast.

The Pentagon was warned weeks ago that it did not have the legal authority to implement President Donald Trump's transgender troop ban, but officials did so any way after a federal judge lifted his own block on his ruling.

Now the Pentagon is getting its hands slapped by a federal judge, as Buzzfeed's Dominic Holden reports.

One week ago today Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist signed a directive ordering all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces to enact President Trump's ban on transgender troops within 30 days.

Attorneys at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) then issued a statement reminding the Dept. of Defense that they were not within their legal rights to implement the ban, as there was still a court case that had yet to be decided.

The Pentagon ignored them and moved forward.

On Tuesday a federal judge slapped down the Pentagon.

"Defendants," Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote, referring to the Pentagon, "were incorrect in claiming that there was no longer an impediment" to implementing the ban.

"Defendants remain bound by this Court’s preliminary injunction to maintain the status quo," she added.

“On October 30, 2017, this Court ordered Defendants to maintain the status quo as it relates to the accession and retention of transgender individuals in the military,” Judge Kollar-Kotelly wrote. “That preliminary injunction remains in place until the D.C. Circuit issues its mandate vacating the preliminary injunction.”

The Pentagon one week ago initiated a 30-day countdown, starting to move the ban into place. It's unclear if that clock has stopped, if it will be reset, or if it just keeps clicking toward abject discrimination.


Image via Chairman of the Joint Chiefs/Flickr

DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro

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