In the latest court decision on the Trump administration’s transgender military ban, a federal judge in Maryland has ruled in favor of the policy, rescinding one of the last temporary blocks that was stalling the policy from moving forward.
According to CNN Politics, the ruling, which was decided this Thursday, March 7, has cleared the way for the Pentagon to begin enforcing the rule in earnest. Previously, a January 2019 Supreme Court vote had given the Trump admin the go-ahead to implement the ban; however, U.S. District Judge George Russell of Maryland hadn’t yet lifted his court-ordered injunction on the policy, meaning the U.S. Justice Department was actually at a standstill.
Of course, that all changed this week, when Russell formally removed the block.
BREAKING: A Maryland court just ruled to let Trump’s trans military ban take effect while our case moves forward.
One court ordered block remains in place, thankfully. We’ll keep fighting this every step of the way.
— ACLU (@ACLU) March 7, 2019
Advocates from the ACLU say there’s still one court-ordered block in place from a separate lawsuit that’s still ongoing. The nonprofit plans to continue waging its war against the transphobic ban, which would prevent the vast majority of transgender Americans from serving in the armed forces.
In a statement to CNN Politics, the Department of Justice said it was “pleased this procedural hurdle has been cleared.”
“The Department of Defense will be able to implement personnel policies it determined necessary to best defend our nation as litigation continues,” spokesperson Kelly Laco told the news outlet.
Meanwhile, LGBTQ advocates and allies remain steadfast in their fight to topple the policy. In Congress, elected officials like Rep. Joseph Kennedy III of Massachusetts are leading the charge against the ban. Last month, Democrats in Congress even brought transgender service members to the President’s 2019 State of the Union address.
As for the general public? Turns out, most Americans don’t think the ban is a good idea, either: A recent poll from Reuters and Ipsos revealed that nearly 60% of Americans believe trans troops do have the right to serve.