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Federal judge orders Trump administration to release documents in transgender service member case

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A federal judge Tuesday rejected the Trump administration’s effort to shield information it used to implement a ban on transgender people in the military. Stone v. Trump is the ACLU’s lawsuit on behalf of a dozen transgender individuals currently serving or wanting to serve in the armed forces.

In rejecting the Trump Administration’s attempt to shield these materials from review, United States Magistrate Judge A. David Copperthite stated that the documents were relevant to the Trump Administration’s intent and “whether [the ban] was for military purposes or whether it was purely for political and discriminatory purposes — is at the very heart of this litigation.”

“President Trump banned transgender people from serving in the military and then ordered the Department of Defense to come up with a pretext to justify that discriminatory decision. Today’s decision makes clear that the Trump Administration cannot continue to hide the true reasons behind its crusade to purge transgender people from the military,” said Joshua Block, senior staff attorney with the LGBT & HIV Project. “These brave men and women should be able to continue serving their country ably and honorably without being discriminated against by their own commander in chief.”

The order in its entirety is available here: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/stone-v-trump-memorandum-opinion

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TRANSGENDER AMERICAN VETERANS ASSOCIATION

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