Federal Judge: U.S. Military Must Accept Transgender Recruits By 2018

A federal ruling Monday means the military must move forward with plans to allow transgender recruits on Jan. 1, 2018.

A federal judge issued clarification Monday on an earlier injunction against President Trump's memorandum stopping policies that allow transgender individuals to serve in the military, indicating the military must go forward with plans to accept transgender recruits beginning January 1, 2018.

[T]he Justice Department asked [US District Judge Colleen] Kollar-Kotelly to clarify that her court's injunction did not prevent Defense Secretary James Mattis from "exercising his discretion to defer the January 1, 2018 effective date for the accession" portion — as in, recruitment policies — of the Obama-era order allowing for transgender military service.

But rather than go along with the DOJ's wishes, which would have allowed Mattis to push the date back again, Kollar-Kotelly said the January deadline must stand:

"The Court explained that the effect of its Order was to revert to the status quo with regard to accession and retention that existed before the issuance of the [Trump] Presidential Memorandum," she wrote. "Those policies allowed for the accession of transgender individuals into the military beginning on January 1, 2018. Any action by any of the Defendants that changes this status quo is preliminarily enjoined."