A federal judge again has overturned President Trump’s decree that would bar transgender persons from military service. In a Dec. 11 opinion, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia declined to overturn a ruling she had issued in October that essentially had stopped the ban in its tracks, pending the outcome of litigation.
The lawsuit before Kollar-Kotelly seeks to overturn the ban, which Trump put in place on August 25. In the suit, brought forth by an anonymous group of service members, government lawyers contended that allowing transgender persons to serve would cause “irreparable harm” to the government, which would have to revamp facilities and medical centers to accommodate them.
The judge rejected that premise, calling it “vague claims” and saying the work to adapt infrastructure for transgender persons is largely complete already.
She also concluded that the persons bringing the lawsuit were likely to win their case, and that they would be the ones to suffer hardship in the eventuality that they lost.
The ruling clears the path for transgender persons to enter and remain in the service, beginning January 1. The Defense Department announced shortly after the ruling that it would comply and allow transgender persons to serve.