Jenner & Block

Judge Cites Firm’s Amicus Brief in Blocking Trump’s Ban on Transgender Troops

In the case of Jane Doe, et. al. v. Donald J. Trump, et. al., individual transgender plaintiffs are challenging President Trump’s ban on transgender recruits in the military.  A firm team filed an amicus brief on behalf of medical, mental health, and other health care organizations supporting the plaintiffs.  On Monday, US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that Trump’s directive cannot be enforced while the case works its way through the courts.  In her 76-page opinion, the judge cited the firm’s brief when she wrote that “transgender individuals have immutable and distinguishing characteristics that make them a discernable class.  As a class, transgender individuals have suffered, and continue to suffer, severe persecution and discrimination.” 

In her ruling, the judge said that the government had not proven that national defense was at risk. “There is absolutely no support for the claim that the ongoing service of transgender people would have any negative effective on the military at all,” she wrote. “In fact, there is considerable evidence that it is the discharge and banning of such individuals that would have such effects.”

The team writing the amicus brief included Partner Scott B. Wilkens and Associates Ben J. Brysacz and Devi M. Rao.