A federal judge has blocked parts of President Donald Trump's presidential memo banning transgender Americans from military service, setting up a court dispute that the White House and its critics could possibly pursue to the Supreme Court.
Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a judge with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, partially granted a request by pro-LGBT petitioners for an injunction against Trump's transgender ban Oct. 30.
The effect of the court order, Kollar-Kotelly wrote, "is to revert to the status quo with regard to accession and retention that existed before the issuance of the Presidential Memorandum." In practical terms, that means the military will go back to the rules permitting transgender service adopted in June 2016 by then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter and updated by current Secretary of Defense James Mattis last summer.
That led to a lawsuit filed on behalf of five current transgender service members, who allege that Trump's policy was an unconstitutional violation of their due process rights. Kollar-Kotelly ruled with them Monday, agreeing that the Trump ban needed to be halted until at least November 10, when both sides in the lawsuit are expected to inform the court how they plan to proceed.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."