A federal court on Thursday struck down the Trump administration’s appeal to keep transgender recruits from joining the U.S. military in January – just 11 days before the policy was set to take effect.
A three-judge panel on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia decided to not grant the White House a delay in allowing transgender recruits in the military. The administration argued that it has not yet put processes in place to screen and accept such recruits.
The Pentagon said last week that the enlistment of transgender recruits will begin in January despite the legal battles. The Department of Justice said it disagrees with the ruling on Thursday and is considering further steps.
The government went to the appeals court after a U.S. district judge in Baltimore halted the proposed ban in November. The order on Thursday leaves President Donald Trump with no other option than appealing the decision to the Supreme Court.
Trump announced the ban in July, saying that the federal government “will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military” – reversing a 2016 policy under President Barack Obama.