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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 24, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 47
Second federal judge blocks Trump's Trans ban
Section One
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Second federal judge blocks Trump's Trans ban

DOJ says it will appeal previous ruling

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A second US District court has issued an injunction blocking Donald Trump's ban on Transgender troops in the US military.

Judge Marvin Garbis ruled on November 21 in Baltimore that the six Transgender plaintiffs in the case before him have 'demonstrated that they are already suffering harmful consequences' due to the proposed ban, including threat of discharge, stigma, and the cancellation or delay of surgeries related to their gender transitions.

In a 53-page decision, Garbis wrote that the 'capricious, arbitrary, and unqualified tweet of new policy does not trump the methodical and systematic review by military stakeholders qualified to understand the ramifications of policy change.'

The ACLU, which represented the six Trans plaintiffs in the latest ruling, said Garbis's decision was 'a victory for transgender service members across the country.'

'We're pleased that the courts have stepped in to ensure that trans service members are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve,' senior ACLU staff attorney Joshua Block said in a statement.

The ACLU had also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction against the proposed ban in September.

Pentagon spokesperson Mark Wright said the November 21 ruling will have no impact on current Defense Department (DoD) policy because the department is not currently discharging Trans service members.

'As directed by the DoD guidance, no action may be taken to involuntarily separate or discharge an otherwise qualified service member solely on the basis of a gender dysphoria diagnosis or transgender status,' Wright said.

Late on November 21, the US Department of Justice announced it would appeal a previous ruling, by US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, against Trump's Trans ban, thus eliminating any question of whether the administration would allow court orders against the ban to stand.

Judge Kollar-Kotelly issued her injunction against Trump's anti-Trans policy on October 30. In a strongly worded opinion, she wrote that the Trump policy 'does not appear to be supported by any facts.'

Trump's Transgender ban is also being challenged in federal court in Seattle in a case brought by Lambda Legal.

US District Judge Marsha Pechman heard oral arguments between lawyers for the Justice Department and Lambda Legal also on November 21, just hours after the Baltimore judge's ruling.

Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN represent nine Trans plaintiffs, six currently serving members of the US Armed Services and three individuals who wish to enlist, and three organizational plaintiffs: the HRC, Gender Justice League, and American Military Partner Association (AMPA).

Pechman said she would decide by December 8 whether to join her counterparts in Washington, DC, and Baltimore in blocking the Trump administration's policy.

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