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Trump's bid to bar transgender military recruits thwarted by federal court
President Trump's attempt to prevent the U.S. military from accepting transgender recruits beginning Jan. 1 has been shot down by a federal appeals court in Virginia.
By Delila James
Contributor
Jan 12, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — President Trump's attempt to prevent the U.S. military from accepting transgender recruits beginning Jan. 1 has been shot down by a federal appeals court in Virginia.

A three-judge panel all Democratic appointees of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond issued a short, two-paragraph order Thursday denying the administration's request to delay the Jan. 1 date while the appeal goes forward.

The appellate court order was issued in response to the administration's appeal of a lower court ruling in November by U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis, who wrote that a ban on transgender individuals in the military likely violates the constitutional right to equal protection under the laws of the land.

"We disagree with the court's ruling and are currently evaluating the next steps," said U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman Lauren Ehrsam in a statement, as reported by Reuters.

To date, three federal judges have blocked Trump's attempted ban on transgender troops in the military a policy he tweeted in July, saying then that the federal government would not accept transgender people to serve in the military "in any capacity."

The ACLU expressed support for the court's order.

"We are happy that the court saw through the government's smoke screen and rejected its request to further delay the policy allowing transgender people to enlist," said ACLU senior staff attorney Josh Block in a statement, according to ABC News. "The military has already developed comprehensive guidance to prepare for a January 1 start date, and the government failed to offer any credible reason why transgender people should be barred from enlisting if they can meet the same rigorous standards that apply to everyone else."