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Trump admin asks top court to block transgender military service pro tem

Ban on transgender people in the military was repeatedly challenged in court, leading to an updated policy that also contained major restrictions

AFP | PTI  |  Washington 

US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters

US President Donald Trump's administration on Thursday urged the nation's highest court to temporarily block the military recruitment of people, pending the outcome of an ongoing legal battle.

The administration said there is "too great a risk to military effectiveness and lethality" to allow people to serve openly -- a policy enacted under Trump's predecessor

Under the policy, the military was to begin accepting recruits on July 1, 2017 -- but the pushed the deadline to January 1, 2018, before deciding to reverse the policy completely.

But the ban on transgender people in the military was repeatedly challenged in court, leading to an updated policy that also contained major restrictions on transgender service, and which was also suspended because of its similarity to the original measure.

The government appealed and asked the to hear the case, and, pending its final decision, on Thursday requested that it suspend the rulings of the lower courts.

Otherwise, "the nationwide injunction would... remain in place for at least another year and likely well into 2020 -- a period too long for the military to be forced to maintain a policy that it has determined, in its professional judgment, to be contrary to the nation's interests," the argued.

First Published: Fri, December 14 2018. 09:20 IST
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