The trans military ban is back on schedule.
A panel of judges in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a mandate on Tuesday, allowing the Trump administration to begin implementing the policy as soon as April 12, The Washington Blade reports.
The policy, first announced by President Donald Trump in a series of tweets in 2017, would place restrictions on trans people from serving in the U.S. military. Though initially an outright ban, the Pentagon revised the policy so that only those trans people who have transitioned, are transitioning, or were likely to transition in the future (i.e., the vast majority of trans people) would be prohibited from service.
Though still discriminatory, the Supreme Court gave the administration the go-ahead to begin implementing the policy earlier this year, and a date was set for April 12 after courts lifted all four injunctions against it. Three D.C. circuit court judges lifting the final injunction on Tuesday, The Hill reports, clearing the way for the administration to begin implementing the ban in a few weeks’ time.
Shannon Minter, the legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights — a co-counsel in the lawsuit against the policy — says that the fight against the ban is far from over.
“Today’s ruling only drives home the urgency of continuing to fight this destructive policy, which we will continue to do in the district court,” he said in a statement to Out. “We are concerned by the serious harms that the imminent enforcement of the ban is already causing, both to the military and to transgender service members, many of whom are now scrambling to come out and initiate a gender transition before the April 12 deadline in order to be included in the so-called ‘grandfather’ provision.
“The government’s plan is already wreaking havoc in the lives of dedicated transgender troops who must now face the grim choice of suppressing their identity or leaving military service, to the detriment of their fellow service members and national security.”