Seattle judge hears arguments on transgender military ban

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge in Seattle says she’ll decide by Dec. 8 whether to join her counterparts in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore in blocking the Trump administration’s proposed transgender military ban.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman heard oral arguments between lawyers for the Justice Department and transgender rights advocates, including Lambda Legal, on Tuesday — just hours after the Baltimore judge’s ruling.

President Donald Trump said on Twitter in July that the government would not allow transgender individuals to serve in the military in any capacity. Transgender individuals were allowed to serve openly under President Barack Obama, following a yearlong study by the military.

Pechman grilled a Justice Department lawyer about the administration’s intent in reversing the military’s policy and about the effect that’s already having on transgender troops.

The Washington Attorney General’s Office has also intervened in the case, saying the state wants to make sure the money it spends on the National Guard isn’t used to support a discriminatory policy.