On October 30, 2017 Collen Kollar-Kotelly, U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia issued a preliminary injunction in Doe v. Trump (See our 9/5/17 update). In its 76 page Memorandum Opinion the Court stated the transgender ban “stigmatizes Plaintiffs as less capable of serving in the military, reduces their stature among their piers and officers, stunts the growth of their careers and threatens to derail their chosen calling or access to unique educational opportunities.” October 30, 2017 Mem. Op. at 73 and “there is absolutely no support for the claim that service of transgender individuals would have any negative effect of the military at all.” Id. at 75.
On November 21, 2017 the Defendants filed an appeal and on December 6, 2017 filed a motion for a partial stay regarding transgender individuals entering the military on January 1, 2018 pending the appeal.
On December 11, 2017 District Judge Kollar-Kotelly denied the Defendants motion for a partial stay pending appeal by concluding “In sum, having carefully considered all of the evidence before it, the Court is not persuaded that Defendants will be irreparably injured by allowing the accession of transgender individuals into the military beginning on January 1, 2018.”
Additionally on December 11, a federal judge in Seattle, Washington “also ordered a halt to the ban on transgender people serving in the Military.”
These two rulings lend credence to plaintiff’s arguments. However, we need to wait and see how the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals and the 9th Circuit view them. And then, of course, whether SCOTUS decides to address the arguments.