Third judge blocks military transgender ban

SEATTLE (AP) — A third federal judge has blocked President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people joining the military.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman issued her ruling Monday in a case brought by several plaintiffs, including a soldier based in Washington state and two young men who hope to enlist.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson also intervened in the case to challenge Trump’s policy.

Pechman found that the ban likely violates the plaintiffs’ rights to due process and to equal protection under the law without advancing any government interest. She also said it would harm the state’s efforts to protect its residents from discrimination.

Pechman blocked the government from imposing the ban pending further proceedings.

Judges in Maryland and Washington, D.C., also have ruled against the ban. It had been due to take effect Jan. 1.