(San Antonio, TX) Please attribute the following statement on Monday’s decision by a federal court judge blocking the Trump administration’s ban on transgender people serving in the military to Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund):

“In yet another blow to Donald Trump’s ongoing pretensions to imperial power – often exercised by capricious tweet – a federal court has acted to block the presidential order to ban transgender service members from the military. In a well-reasoned decision, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia rejected numerous meritless arguments offered by federal lawyers, and held that the ban is likely to violate the Constitution.

MALDEF thanks and congratulates the plaintiffs and their counsel for this important victory. The decision demonstrates both the court system’s critical role in protecting against presidential overstepping, and the very real harms from this Administration’s repeated and divisive rhetorical attacks on certain groups, often put forward to embolden extremists and to divert attention from the latest Trumpian blunder. Our efforts to unite in the face of such divisiveness must be strengthened, and MALDEF is proud to stand in alliance with the transgender community, including many who are Latino, in opposing the blatantly unconstitutional discrimination in the transgender military ban.”