|Latest ruling against Trump's trans ban could ensnare the anti-LGBT right.|
From NBC News:
A federal judge in Maryland has denied an effort by President Donald J. Trump's administration to shield information it used to implement a ban on transgender people in the military. The American Civil Liberties Union sued the administration on behalf of a dozen transgender people who are currently serving or want to serve in the armed forces. U.S. Magistrate Judge A. David Copperthite ruled Tuesday that the documents are relevant to the administration's intent. He says whether the ban was for military purposes or for purely political and discriminatory purposes "is at the very heart of this litigation." The ACLU contends the ban violates the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and substantive due process by singling out transgender individuals for unequal and discriminatory treatment.
The lawsuit is one of several challenging a ban that Trump announced on Twitter on July 26, 2017, citing “consultation with my Generals and military experts” and the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” of transgender service members.From the ACLU's site:
The lawsuit was filed on August 28, 2017 on behalf of the ACLU of Maryland and six current members of the armed forces who are transgender: Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone, Staff Sergeant Kate Cole, Staff Sergeant John Doe 1, Airman First Class Seven Ero George, Petty Officer First Class Teagan Gilbert, and Technical Sergeant Tommie Parker.
Six additional plaintiffs, who are prospective service members, joined the lawsuit on April 27, 2018. In the lawsuit, the ACLU argues that the ban violates the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and substantive due process by singling out transgender individuals for unequal and discriminatory treatment. The lawsuit argues that the ban discriminates based on sex and transgender status and that the ban is based on uninformed speculation, myths and stereotypes, moral disapproval, and a bare desire to harm this already vulnerable groups.
Also from the ACLU's site:
Under the court’s order, Defendants must produce the following categories of documents: 1) Deliberative materials regarding the President’s July 2017 tweets and August 2017 Memorandum. 2) Deliberative materials regarding DoD’s so-called panel of experts and its working groups tasked with developing a plan to study and implement the President’s decision. 3) Deliberative materials regarding DoD’s implementation plan and the President’s acceptance of the plan, including any participation or interference in that process by anti-transgender activists and lobbyists.
Points two and three are of specific interest because in one of the current lawsuits against Trump's trans ban, gay groups are asking that the courts make anti-LGBTQ conservative and religious right groups the Family Research Council and the Heritage Foundation turn in any communications they had with the Trump Administration about the policy. This stems from the claim that instead of military experts, the White House took the lead on forging the ban and consulted with individuals and groups with personal animus against the transgender community. Naturally, the groups, particularly the Family Research Council, have been fighting to keep from turning over that information.
ACLU's victory may just make it a little bit harder for them to fight from turning over the information.