University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Doe v. Trump EE-DC-0077
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-01597 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Presidential Authority
Attorney Organization GLAD (GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders)
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
Case Summary
On August 9, 2017, five active duty servicemembers in the United States military who openly identify as transgender people filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Three additional plaintiffs, including one student at the U.S. Naval Academy and one student ... read more >
On August 9, 2017, five active duty servicemembers in the United States military who openly identify as transgender people filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Three additional plaintiffs, including one student at the U.S. Naval Academy and one student participating in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, were added to the suit in an amended complaint. The plaintiffs sued under the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fifth Amendment, and under the theory of estoppel. From June 2016, when the U.S. military adopted a policy to permit transgender servicemembers to serve openly, the military provided ongoing support for openly transgender people serving in the armed forces. In reliance on the promises of the U.S. military, transgender servicemembers self-identified and pursued medical treatment for the purpose of gender transition. According to the plaintiffs, estoppel prevents the military from rescinding the rights, benefits, and protections promised to plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs, represented by GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and private counsel, sought declaratory judgment that the ban on transgender people from military service is unconstitutional in addition to preliminary and permanent injunctive relief prohibiting implementation of the President’s directive to prohibit transgender individuals from serving in the Armed Forces. Specifically, on July 26, 2017, President Trump announced, through a series of tweets, a prohibition on the open service of transgender people in the military. On August 25, 2017, the President signed a formal directive to the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security categorically excluding transgender people from enlisting or serving openly in the military.

The plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction on August 31, 2017, to prohibit defendants from implementing the ban on transgender people enlisting and serving in the U.S. military. On October 4, 2017, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted. On October 30, 2017, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly granted in part and denied in part the plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction and the defendants’ motion to dismiss. The order prohibited the defendants from complying with the accession and retention directives of the Presidential directive until the case is resolved. The order effectively reverted to the status quo with regard to the hiring and retention of opening transgender servicemembers. The court also held that it did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate the prohibition against the expenditures of medical treatment relating to gender transition because none of the plaintiffs established a likelihood of being harmed by that prohibition. Finally, the court dismissed the plaintiffs’ claim of relief under the theory of estoppel but permitted plaintiffs to file an amended complaint with regard to estoppel. 275 F.Supp.3d 167.

On November 21, 2017, the defendants appealed to the D.C. Circuit, but then filed a notice of voluntary dismissal on December 29, 2017. The case is back in district court and discovery is ongoing.

Meg Hlousek - 02/12/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
Hire
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Hiring
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Discrimination-basis
Gender identity
Sex discrimination
Sexual orientatation
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Bivens
Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
Defendant(s) The President of the United States
United States
Plaintiff Description Eight active duty servicemembers in the United States Armed Forces who identify as transgender people.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations GLAD (GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders)
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2017 - n/a
Filing Year 2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
17-5267 (U.S. Court of Appeals)
EE-DC-0077-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/04/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:17-cv-01597 (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0077-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/15/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
EE-DC-0077-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/09/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 9]
EE-DC-0077-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/31/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 60] (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0077-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/30/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 61] (2017 WL 4873042) (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0077-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/30/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order
EE-DC-0077-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/04/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Kollar-Kotelly, Colleen (FISC, D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0077-0003 | EE-DC-0077-0004 | EE-DC-0077-9000
Millett, Patricia Ann (D.C. Circuit)
EE-DC-0077-0005
Rogers, Judith Ann Wilson (D.C. Circuit)
EE-DC-0077-0005
Tatel, David S. (D.C. Circuit)
EE-DC-0077-0005
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cambier, Adam M. (Massachusetts)
EE-DC-0077-0001 | EE-DC-0077-0002 | EE-DC-0077-9000
Hoder, Harriet (Massachusetts)
EE-DC-0077-0002 | EE-DC-0077-9000
Hutchinson, Rachel C. (Massachusetts)
EE-DC-0077-0001 | EE-DC-0077-0002 | EE-DC-0077-9000
Lamb, Kevin M. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0077-0002 | EE-DC-0077-9000 | EE-DC-0077-9001
Laporte, Claire (Massachusetts)
EE-DC-0077-0001 | EE-DC-0077-0002 | EE-DC-0077-9000
Levi, Jennifer (Massachusetts)
EE-DC-0077-0001 | EE-DC-0077-0002 | EE-DC-0077-9000
Licker, Michael J. (Massachusetts)
EE-DC-0077-9001
Looney, Christopher R. (Massachusetts)
EE-DC-0077-0002 | EE-DC-0077-9000
McFadden, Daniel L. (Massachusetts)
EE-DC-0077-0001 | EE-DC-0077-0002 | EE-DC-0077-9000 | EE-DC-0077-9001
Miller, Matthew E. (Massachusetts)
EE-DC-0077-0001 | EE-DC-0077-0002 | EE-DC-0077-9000
Minter, Shannon (California)
EE-DC-0077-0001 | EE-DC-0077-0002 | EE-DC-0077-9000
Schoenfeld, Alan E. (New York)
EE-DC-0077-0001 | EE-DC-0077-0002 | EE-DC-0077-9000 | EE-DC-0077-9001
Schroeder, Nancy Lynn (California)
EE-DC-0077-0002 | EE-DC-0077-9000
Stoll, Christopher (California)
EE-DC-0077-0002 | EE-DC-0077-9000
Whelan, Amy E. (California)
EE-DC-0077-0002 | EE-DC-0077-9000
Wolfson, Paul Reinherz (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0077-0001 | EE-DC-0077-0002 | EE-DC-0077-9000 | EE-DC-0077-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Carmichael, Andrew Evan (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0077-9000
Dorsey, Catherine (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0077-9001
Dover, Marleigh D. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0077-9001
Morrissey, Tara S. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0077-9001
Parker, Ryan B. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0077-9000
Other Lawyers Colb, Sara A. (Massachusetts)
EE-DC-0077-9000
Koh, Harold H. (Connecticut)
EE-DC-0077-9001
Manning, Susan Baker (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0077-9000
Schuster, Stephanie (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0077-9000
Titus, Herbert W. (Virginia)
EE-DC-0077-9001
Wilkens, Scott B. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0077-9000

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