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Judge rules transgender people are protected, keeps hold on troop ban

A federal judge in Washington ordered Friday that a halt to President Trump's transgender troop ban remain in place pending a trial, saying that the government must prove its order "was sincerely motivated by compelling interests, rather than by prejudice or stereotype."

Why it matters: In addition to keeping its injunction in place, the judge overseeing the case said that transgender people represent a "protected class" and, as such, that President Trump's ban will have to meet the legal standard known as "strict scrutiny."

"Therefore, any attempt to exclude them from military service will be looked at with the highest level of care, " Judge Marsha J. Pechman wrote in the order, which was posted online by the Washington Blade. "This means that before Defendants can implement the Ban, they must show that it was sincerely motivated by compelling interests, rather than by prejudice or stereotype, and that it is narrowly tailored to achieve those interests. "