Judge: Lawsuit against military transgender ban to continue

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge in Seattle has ordered President Donald Trump not to take any action barring transgender troops from serving in the military, finding that it’s unclear whether recent tweaks to his administration’s policy are constitutional.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman was one of four federal judges around the country who late last year blocked the president from overturning an Obama-era directive allowing transgender troops to serve openly. The Justice Department asked her to dissolve that injunction as moot, citing changes to the policy that would allow transgender troops to serve in some cases.

In an order Friday, Pechman said that because the tweaks were announced just last month, the parties had not had time to argue about whether the policy is unconstitutionally discriminatory or whether the military is entitled to deference.

Pechman ordered the parties to prepare for trial.