A team of Pillsbury lawyers, working in conjunction with Suzanne Goldberg of Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic, a leading LGBT and women’s advocate, has filed an amicus brief in Karnoski v. Trump to challenge the prohibition on military service by transgender people.
The brief was filed on July 3 on behalf of major rights groups and women’s professional organizations from across the country, including the Service Women’s Action Network, California Women Lawyers, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund, Equal Rights Advocates, Legal Voice, Michigan Association for Justice, the National Women’s Law Center, and the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia in support of transgender service members and prospective service members challenging the ban.
The ban was first announced in July 2017, with President Trump issuing a formal memorandum the following month directing the armed forces to prohibit transgender individuals from enlisting in the military. Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN, a legal services organization for actively serving LGBT military personnel and veterans, filed suit to challenge the executive order. The suit would later be joined by the state of Washington.
In December 2017, lower courts issued a preliminary injunction barring the ban from taking effect and U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman of the Western District of Washington upheld the preliminary injunction in April. The case is currently pending before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Pillsbury attorneys Cynthia Cook Robertson, Robert C.K. Boyd and William C. Miller served pro bono as counsel on the brief. All are based in Washington, DC.