Court ruling: Transgender individuals can enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1

The Pentagon is preparing to comply with a federal court ruling.

On Monday, the court denied an emergency stay issued by the Trump administration to delay that court order. While the administration continues appealing that decision, the Pentagon is preparing in the meantime to let transgender individuals join the military if they meet certain guidelines.

The decision by the D.C.-based court occurred as a third federal court in Washington state weighed in late Monday night that the ban was "likely unconstitutional," ordering the policy be returned to its status quo and saying President Donald Trump announced the change "abruptly and without any evidence of considered reason or deliberation."

The Pentagon’s compliance only applies to allowing transgender individuals seeking to join the military to enlist. Separate court actions have temporarily halted the implementation of the Trump administration's reinstatement of a ban on transgender service members that was to have been phased into place this spring.

Under those guidelines, applicants will be allowed to join if a medical provider certifies they have been stable without “clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning” for 18 months.

"Transgender individuals receiving hormone therapy also must be stable on their medication for 18 months."

"As of right now, they are simply complying with a court order and a previous policy to remain in compliance," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said during Monday's White House briefing. "The Department of Justice is currently reviewing the legal options to ensure that the president's directive can be implemented, and for anything further, any specifics on both of those matters, I refer you to the Department of Defense and Justice."

On Aug. 25, Trump formally signed a memorandum directing the Pentagon to ban transgender individuals from serving. The directive gave the Department of Defense six months to develop an implementation plan that will go into effect on March 23, 2018.

Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter lifted the ban on transgender service members in June 2016 and put in place a one-year review of how transgender recruits could join the military by the following summer.

As recently as last week, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said the Pentagon was continuing with its panel that would provide recommendations to Mattis, by February, for how to handle the cases of transgender individuals already in uniform.