“Courts across the country have swatted down implementation of this dangerous and discriminatory ban: There is no defensible reason to resurrect it now.”
AMPA is proud to be one of the organizational plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN challenging the Trump administration’s plan to ban transgender people from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Services. Yesterday, in Portland, Oregon, our lawyers urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to maintain the preliminary injunction blocking implementation of the discriminatory ban. Our lawyers also asked the Ninth Circuit to reject efforts by the Trump Administration to conceal military documents regarding the ban and to refuse to produce even a log of documents withheld by the White House.
“Time and time again, transgender service members have selflessly and valiantly proven their ability to accomplish the mission. To single these brave American heroes out for discrimination is a violation of the most fundamental principles we hold dear as a nation,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack. “We are hopeful that the court will see this blatant and unconstitutional discrimination for exactly what it is.”
“Despite a string of court rulings blocking President Trump from imposing his discriminatory whims on the military, the government persists in pursuing every avenue to allow it to impose rank discrimination barring courageous and qualified transgender people from serving our country,” Lambda Legal Counsel Peter Renn said. “Courts across the country have swatted down implementation of this dangerous and discriminatory ban: There is no defensible reason to resurrect it now.”
In the lawsuit, Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN represent nine individual plaintiffs and three organizational plaintiffs — the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Seattle-based Gender Justice League, and the American Military Partner Association (AMPA) – who joined the lawsuit on behalf of their transgender members harmed by the ban.
Yesterday’s arguments before the Ninth Circuit follows four U.S. district court rulings and two federal appellate court rulings that issued or preserved preliminary injunctions against enforcement of the ban.
Last December, the federal district court in Seattle issued an injunction barring the ban from being enforced during the litigation and requiring the military to honor the existing policy it adopted in 2016, under which transgender service members were allowed to serve openly, and transgender Americans seeking to join the military had a path forward for doing so. Because of the injunction, transgender people were able to enlist starting January 1.
Last October, a U.S. District Court judge in Washington, D.C., granted a preliminary injunction in a similar lawsuit challenging the transgender military service ban filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). Then, in November, a U.S. District Court judge in Maryland granted a preliminary injunction in a case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. And, also this past December, a U.S. District Court judge in California granted a preliminary injunction in a case filed by Equality California, also joined by NCLR and GLAD. The D.C. and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeals denied the Trump Administration’s efforts to secure stays on open enlistment. The district courts in Washington, D.C. and California have also rejected efforts by the Trump Administration to dissolve the injunctions this year.
The lawsuit is Karnoski v. Trump. Read more about the case here: https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/cases/karnoski-v-trump