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Trump administration can enforce transgender military ban

People protest the Trump administration’s ban on transgender soldiers in August 2017.

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is set to start enforcing its ban on transgender people in the military now that a federal judge has lifted an injunction.

The Hill reported that on Thursday, U.S. District Judge George Russell III announced he was striking down the last of four injunctions against ban, though advocates for transgender troops say a stipulation in a ruling means one remains in effect. The website said that Russell cited the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in January to stay two of the injunctions. He was appointed to the bench by President Obama.

From The Hill:

“In light of the district court’s decision yesterday to stay the preliminary injunction in Stone v. Trump … there is no longer any impediment to the military’s implementation of the Mattis policy,” Justice Department lawyers wrote in a filing in federal court in Washington, D.C.

“Defendants therefore respectfully provide notice to the Court that the Acting Secretary of Defense plans to release a Directive-Type Memorandum (DTM) formally implementing the new policy in the near future.”

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis laid out a policy in March 2018 that would allow transgender people to serve if they do so “in their biological sex.”

“Each and every claim made by President Trump to justify this ban can be easily debunked by the conclusions drawn from the Department of Defense’s own review process,” Joshua Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project, told The Hill. “Our clients are brave men and women who should be able to continue serving their country ably and honorably without being discriminated against by their own commander in chief.”

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