As expected, Fourth District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly did not agree with Trump regime lawyers who argued that her order lifting a ban on transgender military recruits should be stayed.
While we expected a judge would not be willing to stay their own ruling without a very good reason to do so, we also expected the Trump regime would present an absurd reason and they certainly delivered.
Government lawyers argued that the military just isn't ready for it.
The administration had argued that the Jan. 1 deadline was problematic because tens of thousands of personnel would have to be trained on the medical standards needed to process transgender applicants, and the military was not ready for that. Kollar-Kotelly rejected the concerns, saying that preparations for accepting transgender troops were underway during the administration of Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama.
“The directive from the Secretary of Defense requiring the military to prepare to begin allowing accession of transgender individuals was issued on June 30, 2016 - nearly one and a half years ago,” the judge said.
Not only was the directive issued more than a year ago, there are transgender people serving in the military right now. They're already there.
That's actually a central argument of lawsuits filed against Trump's order. Currently active transgender service members say Trump's order has already negatively effected them. They were allowed to "come out" and reveal their true identity before Trump issued his order over the summer but now they're being alienated.
If it survives, Trump's transgender ban won't mean the end of transgender service, it means transgender service members will have to hide their identity. It's an even worse version of Don't Ask, Don't Tell; one that compels recruits to hide their gender identity and possibly their sexual orientation as it relates to their identity.
Affirming her earlier ruling, Judge Kollar-Kotelly wrote that the transgender ban likely violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.