University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Stockman v. Trump EE-CA-0359
Docket / Court 5:17-cv-01799 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
On September 5th, 2017, three named and two anonymous transgender service members and a transgender rights nonprofit filed this lawsuit for declaratory and injunctive relief in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, but the case was transferred to the Eastern District that ... read more >
On September 5th, 2017, three named and two anonymous transgender service members and a transgender rights nonprofit filed this lawsuit for declaratory and injunctive relief in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, but the case was transferred to the Eastern District that same day. The plaintiffs sued the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense, and other federal officials.

In June 2016, the Department of Defense (“DOD”) announced it would implement a new policy allowing transgender people to serve openly in the United States military. In reliance on this policy change, many transgender individuals came out to their chain of command without incident. On July 26, 2017, President Trump changed course, announcing on Twitter that the United States Government would no longer allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. The plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of a directive issued by President Trump to the DOD and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on August 25th, 2017, formalizing this policy. The directive required the departments to exclude transgender people from federal military service, ban the accession of transgender people into the U.S. military, and prohibit the funding of sex reassignment surgical procedures as part of health care for transgender service members. The plaintiffs sought a declaratory judgment finding that the directive was unconstitutional and an injunction on the enforcement of the directive; they also sought attorney’s fees.

Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants’ August 25th, 2017 directive discriminated against the plaintiffs by excluding them from military service and denying them equal health benefits based on their sex and transgender status, in violation of the Equal Protection component of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The plaintiffs argue that the discrimination was unconstitutional because it lacked a rational basis, was arbitrary, could not be justified by a rational government interest, and was not narrowly tailored to advance a compelling government interest. The plaintiffs also alleged that the directive would deprive the plaintiffs of their right to privacy and their protected interests in continued military service without any rational basis, in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Finally, plaintiffs allege the directive violates plaintiffs’ and plaintiff’s members’ rights of free speech and expression under the First Amendment by impermissibly restricting, punishing, and chilling speech that would identify Plaintiffs and Plaintiff’s members as transgender people.

On October 2nd, 2017, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction on enforcement of the directive, alleging that enforcement would impose irreparable harm on the plaintiffs by violating their constitutional rights and by sending a damaging public message that transgender people are not fit to serve in the military. On October 23rd, 2017, defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim.

On December 22nd, Judge Jesus G. Bernal denied the motion to dismiss and granted the preliminary injunction. The preliminary injunction enjoined the defendants from excluding individuals from military service on the basis that they are transgender; it also prohibited them from denying access to medically necessary treatment on a timely basis, or otherwise subjecting individuals to adverse treatment or differential terms of service on the basis that they are transgender.

Nina Cahill - 01/24/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Discrimination-area
Discipline
Medical Exam / Inquiry
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
Gender identity
Military status discrimination
Sex discrimination
Sexual orientatation
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Retaliation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Acting Secretary of Homeland Security
Acting Secretary of the Army
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
President of the United States
Secretary of Defense
Secretary of the Air Force
Plaintiff Description three named and two anonymous transgender service members and a transgender rights nonprofit.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Microsoft Gender Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit
Date: Oct. 14, 2016
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Age Discrimination Class Action seeks Fair Employment for Older PwC Applicants
http://www.pwcagecase.com/
Date: Apr. 27, 2016
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Smith Barney Gender Discrimination
https://www.lieffcabraser.com/employment/smith-barney/
Date: August 2008
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Date: Mar. 1, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law Faculty)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
Date: Apr. 1, 2001
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School Faculty)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
5:17-cv-01799 (C.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0359-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/22/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
EE-CA-0359-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/05/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Notice of Motion and Motion for Preliminary Injunction; Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof [ECF# 15]
EE-CA-0359-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/02/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Declaration of Erik K. Fanning in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 22]
EE-CA-0359-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/02/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Notice of Motion and Motion to Dismiss; Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 36]
EE-CA-0359-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/23/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order (1) Denying Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; and (2) Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 79] (N.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0359-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/22/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Bernal, Jesus Gilberto (C.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0359-0005 | EE-CA-0359-9000
Kato, Kenly Kiya Court not on record [Magistrate]
EE-CA-0359-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bonauto, Mary L. (Massachusetts)
EE-CA-0359-0003 | EE-CA-0359-9000
Levi, Jennifer (Massachusetts)
EE-CA-0359-0003 | EE-CA-0359-9000
Minter, Shannon (California)
EE-CA-0359-0003 | EE-CA-0359-9000
Monagas, Enrique Antonio (California)
EE-CA-0359-9000
Putnam, Marvin S. (California)
EE-CA-0359-0002 | EE-CA-0359-0003 | EE-CA-0359-9000
Quartarolo, Amy Christine (California)
EE-CA-0359-0001 | EE-CA-0359-0002 | EE-CA-0359-0003 | EE-CA-0359-9000
Sieff, Adam (California)
EE-CA-0359-0001 | EE-CA-0359-0002 | EE-CA-0359-0003 | EE-CA-0359-9000
Whelan, Amy E. (California)
EE-CA-0359-0003 | EE-CA-0359-9000
White, Harrison J. (California)
EE-CA-0359-0001 | EE-CA-0359-0002 | EE-CA-0359-0003 | EE-CA-0359-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Carmichael, Andrew Evan (District of Columbia)
EE-CA-0359-0004
Coppolino, Anthony J. (District of Columbia)
EE-CA-0359-0004
Griffiths, John R. (District of Columbia)
EE-CA-0359-0004
Parker, Ryan B. (District of Columbia)
EE-CA-0359-0004 | EE-CA-0359-9000
Readler, Chad A. (District of Columbia)
EE-CA-0359-0004
Shumate, Brett (District of Columbia)
EE-CA-0359-0004
Other Lawyers Brysacz, Benjamin J. (California)
EE-CA-0359-9000
Champion, Douglas Martin (California)
EE-CA-0359-9000
Manning, Susan Baker (District of Columbia)
EE-CA-0359-9000
Nadeau, Genevieve (Massachusetts)
EE-CA-0359-9000
Polito, John Anthony (California)
EE-CA-0359-9000
Rao, Devi M. (District of Columbia)
EE-CA-0359-9000
Wilkens, Scott B. (District of Columbia)
EE-CA-0359-9000

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