Questions Remain, Litigation Continues, over Military Service by Transgender Individuals [July 5, 2018]   [open pdf - 528KB]

"At present, the ability of openly transgender individuals to enlist and serve in the military, and receive certain military-funded medical care, remains unclear. Four lawsuits challenging the President's August 25, 2017, memorandum concerning transgender individuals in the military continue to work their way through federal courts in the District of Columbia (Doe v. Trump), Maryland (Stone v. Trump), California (Stockman v. Trump), and Washington (Karnoski v. Trump). While this litigation was underway, the President issued a second memorandum on March 23, 2018, revoking the first memorandum, and providing for further policies with respect to transgender persons. The effect of this second memorandum on these four cases and the legal arguments they raise--including a constitutional challenge to the President's first memorandum on Fifth Amendment equal protection grounds--has yet to be definitively resolved by the courts. This sidebar discusses the procedural background of these lawsuits, the President's first and second memoranda, and the issues that may come before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Ninth Circuit), which could be the first federal appellate court to determine the constitutionality of the President's latest policies on military service by transgender persons."

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CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10165
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