A federal judge in Washington, DC has suspended Donald Trump’s executive order which reversed the military’s policy on transgender troops.
In July, the president announced on Twitter that he would reinstate a ban preventing transgender people from serving openly in the military. The ban had been lifted under President Obama, a year prior to Trump’s tweet, but remained a target for social conservatives. The Obama-era order was set to be implemented in July but was delayed for six months by the Pentagon. Those plans changed when Trump tweeted.
In his July tweet, the president argued that the American military could not afford the “tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.” The decision was born of the discriminatory policies that drive the Trump administration since the costs of health care for transgender service members was found to be “negligible.” Trump’s decision was a surprise to the Pentagon and in August, Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced that transgender service members would be allowed to remain in the military while the issue was studied.
Today’s decision from District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly granted a preliminary injunction on Trump’s ban but granted the Pentagon that earlier six-month delay. Kollar-Kotelly’s injunction will prevent current service members from being discharged because they are transgender. She argued that transgender service members that challenged Trump’s executive order in a lawsuit were likely to be successful adding that due to that likelihood, the Trump administration was not allowed to go forward with its reversal.