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Trump's attempt to ban transgender military service takes another hit

A federal judge ruled Monday that the military must accept transgender recruits beginning on Jan. 1, 2018, after a federal judge dismissed the Trump administration’s claims that such recruits could hurt military readiness. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Transgender recruits will be accepted into the military starting on New Year’s Day after a federal judge dismissed the Trump administration’s claims that such recruits could hurt military readiness, according to The Washington Post.

The Trump administration had been seeking to delay the order to accept transgender recruits past Jan. 1, but the judge was not convinced that was necessary.

Last month, a judge in Baltimore issued a preliminary injunction that prevents the Trump administration from denying funding for sex reassignment surgery.

'The Court is not persuaded'

“The Court is not persuaded that Defendants will be irreparably injured by” the Jan. 1 deadline, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote.

Kollar-Kotelly said the administration’s claims that allowing transgender people into the military would cause significant harm were based on vague evidence, and cited the fact that the military has been preparing for those individuals for more than a year.

The ban on transgender military personnel was lifted in June 2016 by the Barack Obama administration.

Lacking a sense of urgency

The judge also noted that, while the Trump administration has claimed that this is an urgent matter, it has not behaved accordingly. The administration waited three weeks to appeal the first block of the ban, and did not file the motion to stay the Jan. 1 deadline until last week.

“The Court notes that Defendants’ portrayal of their situation as an emergency is belie by their litigation tactics,” Kollar-Kotelly wrote.

The Pentagon said in a statement that it will comply with the judge's order, but still will pursue an appeal requesting the ability to complete an “ongoing policy review scheduled to be completed before the end of March.”

How we got here

President Donald Trump introduced a ban on transgender military service in July via Twitter, but the ban has since been hindered by a series of legal roadblocks.

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