ACLU Sues Trump Over Transgender Military Ban

Stone v. Trump, Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief


In response to the August 25 presidential memorandum, the ACLU filed a petition in the District of Maryland on behalf of six openly serving transgender members of the military.

This lawsuit reiterates the basic claims of the recently filed GLAD and NCLR suit, Doe v. Trump, but it parses out the three critical elements of the August 25th memo: (1) ban on existing service members (Sec. 1(b)); (2) ban on new enlistments (Sec. 2(a)); and (3) ban on medically necessary care (Sec. 2(b)).

Further, Stone v. Trump argues that discrimination against transgender individuals deserves heightened scrutiny. The Supreme Court has not yet determined whether transgender individuals, as a class, deserve intermediate or strict scrutiny when reviewing government discrimination against transgender people.

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Trump writes Pres. memo, “Military Service by Transgender Individuals”

This presidential memo reinstates the long-standing ban on transgender military service.

On August 25, President Trump issued a memorandum directing the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Homeland Security to reinstate the prohibition on openly transgender military service members.

Section 1(a) of the memorandum outlines the history of the prior prohibition on military service by transgender individuals. Prior to June 2016, transgender persons were prohibited from joining the military and, if already serving, discharge based on this status was appropriate. At the Palm Center, a group of current and former military professors describe the pre-2016 policy as “an outright ban that was premised on the general presumption that transgender Americans are unfit to serve in the armed forces.”

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GLAD, NCLR Sue Trump Over Transgender Military Ban

Doe v. Trump

On August 8, 2017, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) filed Doe v. Trump, a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging President Trump’s directive to reinstate a ban on transgender people serving in the military. As GLAD reports, the suit was filed on behalf of 5 transgender service members with nearly 60 years of combined military service.

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Trump signed Pres. memo, “Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”

This memo details considerations to be made in a “new plan to defeat ISIS,” incl. a call for changes to U.S. rules of engagement

Read in full: Presidential Memorandum Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

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