Trump’s memorandum on the ban, which he released in August after first announcing the policy change in a series of tweets in July, has faced legal challenges from current and aspiring transgender service members who “fear that the directives of the Presidential Memorandum will have devastating impacts on their careers and their families,” United States District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote in her order.
The reasons the Trump administration gave for enacting the ban, she continued, “do not appear to be supported by any facts.” While Trump defended the policy change as a cost-saving measure, analyses of the military budget found that spending on health care for transgender service members would be minuscule.
Trump’s memorandum came just over a year after the Pentagon’s 2016 decision to lift the ban on transgender service members, which followed an exhaustive review of military readiness policies. However, Trump claimed he reversed the decision after consulting military experts.
Monday’s court order requires both Trump and the plaintiffs to file a joint status report detailing how they plan to proceed in the matter by Nov. 10.
Read the full court order here.