Not only have two federal judges decisively blocked Donald Trump’s ill-conceived transgender military ban from taking effect, one of those judges has now stipulated in no uncertain terms that the military must start accepting transgender recruits on January 1, 2018.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly from the D.C. Circuit first blocked Trump’s policy-by-tweet in October and ordered that the military revert back to the standard quo, meaning that trans service members could not be expelled and recruitment was set to begin immediately next year. Zack Ford at ThinkProgress writes:
The Trump administration appealed this decision last week, and also sought clarification about whether Mattis was, in fact, prohibited by the order from further deferring the beginning of the accession policy. In Monday’s order, Kollar-Kotelly confirmed that yes, she meant it when she ordered a return to the status quo in regards to the retention and accession policies.
“Those policies allowed for the accession of transgender individuals into the military beginning on January 1, 2018,” she wrote. The following sentence was then underlined for emphasis: “Any action by any of the Defendants that changes this status quo is preliminarily enjoined.”
In other words, Trump’s order was so incompetently devised that his administration cannot be trusted to make any further changes in regards to transgender people’s service.
Incompetence is the hallmark of every Trump order. That’s at least one thing I’ve been thankful for all year.