BREAKING: Pentagon says it will allow transgender people to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1, despite Trump's opposition.
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 11, 2017
The headline was incredibly misleading at best, and many others re-reported the AP’s story, including Time Magazine and The Chicago Tribune. In reality, a judge simply ordered the Pentagon to comply with her prior judgment to halt the ban:
The Trump administration must accept transgender recruits into the military by Jan. 1, a federal judge ruled Monday.
The decision prevents a ban on enlisting new transgender troops that the administration had sought to implement after an earlier injunction against the president’s order.
“The court will not stay its preliminary injunction pending defendants’ appeal,” Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia wrote Monday.
Amazingly, even The Hill and The Washington Post managed to get this one right, while the AP merely threw up a catchy headline to fish for clicks. Take note, The Hill is a very liberal and very anti-Trump political news website, and Free Market Shooter has previously exposed WaPo for changing headlines to make Trump look bad.
Even though The Hill and WaPo refused to run a click-bait headline, they still made a major omission in their reporting; today’s “ruling” was nothing more than a denial of a request by the Trump administration to delay a judge’s order blocking Trump’s decision to bar transgender military service:
A federal judge on Monday halted President Trump’s move to oust transgender service members from the military, saying those troops qualify as a protected class and rejecting Mr. Trump’s claim that his national security decisions shouldn’t be questioned.
The ruling by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly breaks new legal ground for courts in Washington, D.C., finding that transgender status is a “quasi-suspect” legal category deserving of heightened protections by federal courts. She said Mr. Trump’s policy creates an “inherent inequality” that likely violates the Constitution.
Wait, the Pentagon just overruled the commander-in-chief? https://t.co/Dei7YsoIYk
— David Frum (@davidfrum) December 11, 2017
No. A single district court judge did, while citing declarations from Obama-era political appointees in her ruling.
Hence why that headline is so irresponsible. https://t.co/pxkcRyczsp
— James Hasson (@JamesHasson20) December 11, 2017
A former U.S. Department of Justice attorney who has sued Bill and Hillary Clinton multiple times urged the U.S. Supreme Court to disqualify D.C. Circuit Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly from hearing his pending cases and to vacate her orders, saying she abused her power in two suits because of her relationship with the Clintons.
James Hasson of The Federalist explained why Kollar-Kotelly’s initial ruling in October was so important almost two weeks ago:
Kollar-Kotelly pointedly ignored that the generals in charge of the Army and Air Force asked Defense Secretary Mattis last June to delay the Obama-era transgender policy for two years, and that Mattis granted the generals a six-month delay in transgender enlistments so the services could evaluate the policy’s impact on “readiness and lethality.” The generals’ actions, in and of themselves, demonstrate concern over the possible negative impact of the policy. No matter. The judge prioritized her own assessment over the determinations of current military leaders and our commander-in-chief.
If individual judges can unilaterally halt military personnel policies based on suspect and inventive constitutional interpretation, what other military policies can they unilaterally block or modify? The military has separate physical fitness requirements for male and female service members, for example. Can a district court decide that policy violates the Equal Protection Clause because it fails to create a separate test for a third category of soldiers—those who are gender non-conforming?
The AP was content to use a sensationalist click-bait headline to entice people into believing that the military has actually taken the step of going around directives issued by Trump, when in fact the military has been forced to comply with a judge’s affirmation of her own suspect ruling.
If mainstream media wants to salvage its reputation, they’ll need to start by reporting the news, and not publishing misleading stories for clicks.