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Second judge blocks Trump's transgender military ban

This court order is further reaching than the first one

Second judge blocks Trump's transgender military ban
Trans people are now free to enlist in the US military | Photo: Flickr/Ted Eytan

A second US federal judge blocked Donald Trump’s transgender military ban.

District Judge Marvin J. Garbis halted the ban on the grounds that service members are ‘already suffering harmful consequences’ due to Trump’s decisions, according to the Washington Post.

This is the second judicial ruling prohibiting the ban in the span of a month.

At the end of October, District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued a court order prohibiting Trump’s administration from changing the military’s policies.

However, this second ruling extends further than the first.

Harmful consequences

Beyond simply blocking Trump’s ban on transgender service members, it also prohibits the administration from denying funding for gender confirmation surgeries.

Last week, the Pentagon covered a gender confirmation surgery for the first time.

Garbis’ ruling is similar to Kollar-Kotelly’s. He also found the transgender members of the military challenging the ban have legal ground to do so.

The Baltimore judge wrote they have ‘demonstrated that they are already suffering harmful consequences’. These include ‘the cancellation and postponements of surgeries, the stigma of being set apart as inherently unfit, facing the prospect of discharge and inability to commission as an officer, the inability to move forward with long-term medical plans, and the threat to their prospects of obtaining long-term assignments’.

A group of trans soldiers filed a lawsuit at the end of August.

The Justice Department argued the lawsuit was premature because the ban was still under review, but Garbis dismissed that notion.

He concluded: ‘The lack of any justification for the abrupt policy change, combined with the discriminatory impact to a group of our military service members who have served our country capably and honorably, cannot possibly constitute a legitimate governmental interest.’

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