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US judge bars Trump policy restricting transgender troops

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 A U.S. court on Monday ruled the Trump administration could not enforce an updated policy barring certain transgender people from serving in the U.S. military, becoming the second court in the country to rule against the government since it unveiled the policy in March.

Trump announced on March 23 that he would endorse a plan by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to restrict the military service of transgender people who experience a condition called gender dysphoria. The policy replaced an outright ban on transgender service members that Trump announced last year on Twitter, citing concern over military focus and medical costs.

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U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington denied a request by the administration to lift an injunction she had issued against Trump’s original ban.

Her ruling follows one by a federal judge in Seattle who in April also refused to allow the new policy to go into effect. The government has appealed that ruling to the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The administration argued that the new policy, which also bars anyone who requires or has undergone gender transition, was no longer a categorical ban.

Kollar-Kotelly disagreed. The new policy effectively implements the original ban “by targeting proxies of transgender status, such as ‘gender dysphoria’ and ‘gender transition,’ and by requiring all service members to serve ‘in their biological sex,’” she wrote in Monday’s ruling.

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The U.S. Department of Justice could not immediately be reached for comment.

The American Psychiatric Association defines gender dysphoria as a “clinically significant distress” due to a conflict between a person’s gender identity and their sex assigned at birth. Not all transgender people suffer from gender dysphoria, according to the association, which opposes the military ban.

Monday’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed last August by several aspiring service troops and current members of the U.S. Army, Air Force and Coast Guard. Last October, Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the original ban likely violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.

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Three more judges also blocked the ban, forcing the military to permit openly transgender individuals to join the ranks.

Trump’s ban reversed Democratic former President Barack Obama’s policy of allowing transgender troops to serve openly and receive medical care to transition genders.

The new Trump policy exempts those diagnosed with gender dysphoria during the Obama policy, allowing them to remain in the military and serve according to their gender identity.

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Reporting by Andrew Chung; editing by Jonathan Oatis


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Three judges suspended for drunken 3 AM fight at White Castle — that ended with two shot

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Three judges were suspended after engaging in a drunken shooting outside a White Castle.

"Three Indiana judges involved in a Downtown Indianapolis fight in May that ended with two of the judges shot have been suspended without pay after the Indiana Supreme Court determined they committed judicial misconduct," the Indianapolis Star reports. "In an opinion issued Tuesday, the court said judges Bradley Jacobs, Andrew Adams and Sabrina Bell 'engaged in judicial misconduct by appearing in public in an intoxicated state and behaving in an injudicious manner and by becoming involved in a verbal altercation.'"

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What Zelensky knew: The devastating and darkly ironic impact of Trump’s attempt to bribe Ukraine

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In their effort to exculpate President Donald Trump in the impeachment inquiry, Republicans put Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s denial that he ever felt pressure from the White House to open up investigations into Democrats at the center of their argument. A new GOP memo says that both leaders have acknowledged “there was no pressure” on the famous July 25 call that sparked the inquiry and thus argues that the allegations made by Democrats that Trump abused his power don’t hold.

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Greta Thunberg says ‘people must finally wake up’ to the fact Trump is ‘so extreme’ on climate change

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Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg said Tuesday that US President Donald Trump's climate change denialism was "so extreme" that it had helped galvanize the movement to halt long term planetary warming.

She spoke in an interview with AFP on the eve of her departure from North America where she has spent almost three months.

"He's so extreme and he says so extreme things, so I think people wake up by that in a way," the 16-year-old said from on board a sailboat preparing to depart from the East Coast town of Hampton, Virginia for Europe early Wednesday.

"I thought when he got elected, now people will finally, now people must finally wake up," she continued.

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