The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) requested Wednesday that the decision to let transgender recruits into the military be taken to a higher court.
The DOJ asked a federal judge to stay her order that requires the military to start allowing transgender recruits on Jan. 1. The agency wants the judge to appeal the decision. The request for appeal comes as Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and a panel of experts are set to propose recommendations for the “accession of transgender persons into the military,” U.S. Army Maj. Dave Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a written statement according to CNN.
“We will develop a study and implementation plan, which will contain the steps that will promote military readiness, lethality, and unit cohesion, with due regard for budgetary constraints and consistent with applicable law,” Mattis announced in an Aug. 29 press release. “The implementation plan will address accessions of transgender individuals and transgender individuals currently serving in the United States military.”
Mattis also issued interim guidance on military service by transgender individuals based on direction received from a presidential memorandum in September that took immediate effect. His memo indicated that existing transgender service members with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria from a military medical provider would continue to be provided paid treatment, but clarified new sex reassignment surgeries would not be paid for after March 2018. (RELATED: Here’s How Mattis Will Implement Trump’s Transgender Troop Ban For Now).
The guidance will stay in place until Feb. 21, 2018, then the Defense Department will present President Donald Trump with a plan to implement the memorandum.
“Current transgender members will continue to serve throughout the military and continue to receive necessary medical treatment as prescribed by their medical provider,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said, according to The Daily Beast. (RELATED: Trump Transgender Ban On Hold Until February).
The DOJ’s appeal comes after two federal judges have blocked Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military.
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