Monday, October 29, 2018, LeGaL joined an amicus brief in Doe v. Trump, GLAD and NCLR’s case challenging the Trump administration’s discriminatory transgender military ban.
The brief, which was filed with the Federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, makes clear that transgender status should almost never be relevant to lawmaking. Existing Supreme Court precedent, requires the application of heightened, or at least intermediate, scrutiny to provide clear notice to officials at all levels of government that they should proceed with extreme caution before classifying on this basis.
From our brief:
“In recent years, an increasing number of Americans have come to recognize the dignity and equality of their transgender neighbors. Against that background, many courts have held that discrimination against transgender people is presumptively suspect. Those courts have recognized that the hallmarks of heightened scrutiny analysis warrant its application here: (1) this group has suffered a long history of discrimination; (2) its defining characteristic is irrelevant to social productivity; (3) transgender status is a distinct and immutable characteristic; and (4) transgender people cannot fully protect themselves through the political process alone. At a minimum, discrimination against transgender people must be subject to intermediate scrutiny as impermissible sex discrimination.”
Our work on this brief could not arrive at a more crucial time, since the ban on open military service by courageous transgender Americans who want to serve their country is only one of the latest steps the federal government has taken to target transgender people for discrimination.