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Judge Won't Lift Her Block of Trans Military Ban

Protesters

A federal judge Friday refused to reverse or limit her ruling blocking enforcement of Donald Trump’s ban on military service by transgender people.

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said the Trump administration, which asked for her injunction against the ban to be lifted, had not proved the government would suffer irreparable harm if the injunction stayed in place, The Hill reports.

Kollar-Kotelly had issued the injunction in October 2017, blocking the ban while a lawsuit against it was heard. Three other federal judges have issued injunctions in the other suits filed against the ban.

“The government had asked for a stay pending any potential, future proceedings in the Supreme Court,” The Hill reports. The administration has asked the high court to hear its appeal of judges’ orders blocking the ban, even before federal appellate courts had weighed in.

“Without supporting evidence, defendants’ bare assertion that the Court’s injunction poses a threat to military readiness is insufficient to overcome the public interest in ensuring that the government does not engage in unconstitutional and discriminatory conduct,” Kollar-Kotelly wrote.

“After all, ‘it must be remembered that all Plaintiffs seek during this litigation is to serve their nation with honor and dignity, volunteering to face extreme hardships, to endure lengthy deployments and separation from family and friends, and to willingly make the ultimate sacrifice of their lives if necessary to protect the Nation, the people of the United States, and the Constitution against all who would attack them,’” she added, quoting one of her earlier rulings.

The ruling came in Doe v. Trump, a case brought by GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders and the National Center for Lesbian Rights on behalf of current and aspiring trans military members. It was the first of four suits filed against the ban, which Trump announced via Twitter in July 2017.

“The Trump administration is taking desperate measures to avoid continued compliance with Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s injunction,” Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD’s transgender rights project, said in a statement on the ruling. “But there is nothing to which they can point to justify excluding from the military transgender people who meet all fitness and readiness standards. Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s order reconfirms that a ban would cause grave harm not only to transgender service members, but to the military itself.”

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