Trump's transgender military ban just got shut down

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Estimates about the number of transgender people serving in the U.S. military vary from 1,320 up to 15,000, out of 1.5 million active duty troops.

A US judge on Monday blocked US President Donald Trump's ban on transgenders serving in the US military. "The ball is in the government's court", Levi says, adding that the ruling means "there's no gray area" for now.

Trump's directive reversed those policies by indefinitely extending the ban on transgender recruits and by requiring the military to oust transgender service members no later than March 23, 2018.

The President in February also rescinded protections put in place under Mr Obama for transgender public school students. Many transgender individuals came out, being open about identities they had long hidden for fear of being discharged, and the military started preparing to enlist openly transgender people.

In this text forwarded to the minister of Defence, Jim Mattis, Donald Trump also stressed that the Pentagon would no longer support the medical treatment of military personnel transgender people already working within the army.

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"As far as the court is aware at this preliminary stage, all of the reasons proffered by the president for excluding transgender individuals from the military in this case were not merely unsupported, but were actually contradicted by the studies, conclusions and judgment of the military itself", Kollar-Kotelly wrote, referring to the military's 2016 Obama-era study that led to allowing openly transgender military recruits.

The Justice Department, in seeking the lawsuit's dismissal, said none of the plaintiffs had established that they will be impacted by current policies on military service. During that time, the RAND Corporation issued a report finding that the number of openly transgender people serving in the military would likely "be a small fraction of the total force and have minimal impact on readiness and health care costs". They estimated that out of the 1.3 million people on active duty, a few to several thousand were transgender.

Today, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and enjoined the transgender military ban, the discriminatory policy challenged in Doe v. Trump, the first case filed against President Trump's transgender military ban.

"There is absolutely no support for the claim that the ongoing service of transgender people would have any negative effect on the military at all", Kollar-Kotelly wrote in her ruling, according to Bloomberg. "In fact, there is considerable evidence that it is the discharge and banning of such individuals that would have such effects".

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