A federal court on Thursday denied the Trump administration's bid to block the U.S. military from accepting transgender recruits starting next year.
The appeals court refused the administration’s request to temporarily halt an earlier order by a lower court which stated that the military can accept transgender recruits. The ruling would mean openly transgender people may be allowed to enlist in the military starting on January 1.
Thursday's ruling may send the dispute to the U.S. Supreme Court in the coming days.
A U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman released a statement saying that the plaintiffs in the case have not “established that they will be impacted by current policies on military service.”
"Plaintiffs' lawsuit challenging military service requirements is premature for many reasons, including that the Defense Department is actively reviewing such service requirements, as the President ordered, and because none of the Plaintiffs have established that they will be impacted by current policies on military service,” said Lauren Ehrsam, according to the Hill.
The president announced the controversial ban on Twitter in July, which was followed up with an official memo in August.
Josh Block, senior attorney with the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project, released the following statement after ruling: “We are happy that the court saw through the government’s smokescreen and rejected its request to further delay the policy allowing transgender people to enlist.”