On Monday afternoon, a federal judge ruled against the Trump administration’s attempts to ban trans people from serving in the U.S. military.
The ruling, by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, says that the government must:
Revert to the status quo with regard to accession and retention that existed before the issuance of the Presidential Memorandum—that is, the retention and accession policies established in the June 30, 2016 Directive-type Memorandum as modified by Secretary of Defense James Mattis on June 30, 2017.
In other words, the rules must go back to the standards at play before Trump’s order.
Earlier this month, the Trump administration had attempted to have suits against its transgender military ban thrown out, arguing at the time that it was too early for courts to rule on blocking the directive, since it hadn’t gone into effect yet.
While Monday’s ruling was a clear blow to President Trump’s efforts to purge the military of its transgender servicemen and women, Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s order was not an unambiguous victory for the plaintiffs in the case. While she did instruct the government to revert to the pre-ban status quo, she also ruled that Trump’s instructions preventing the military from funding gender reassignment surgery should be allowed to stand.
According to Judge Kollar-Kotelly, the next step is for both parties in the suit to “file a Joint Status Report indicating how they propose to proceed in this matter by no later than November 10, 2017.”
Update, 3:25 PM: A Justice Department spokesperson responded to the ruling on Monday afternoon, calling it “premature.” According to the DOJ, the government is “currently evaluating the next steps.”