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Stone v. Trump

Case Challenging Trump's Directive Banning Military Service for Transgender Americans

Key Date: April 12, 2019
Status: Awaiting Further Action
Legal Team: ACLU
Type: Other LGBT Litigation

Case Overview:

In July 2017 President Donald Trump tweeted a proposal to prohibit transgender Americans from serving in the United States military “in any capacity.” The proposal undercuts an entire year where transgender Americans served openly in the military, following an in-depth study from the U.S. Department of Defense. Thousands of transgender people are currently serving in the U.S. military.

On August 28 Stone v. Trump was filed in the U.S. District Court of Maryland a challenging Trump’s attempt to reinstate a ban on open service for transgender people. It is filed on behalf of Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone, Staff Sergeant Kate Cole, Senior Airmen John Doe, Technical Sergeant Tommie Parker, Airman First Class Seven Ero George, and Petty Officer First Class Teagan Gilbert.

The case is being led by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Maryland.

Latest in the Case:

In two separate military ban cases in January 2019, the Supreme Court denied a request by the Trump administration to hear arguments regarding the proposed ban on transgender service members in the military. In the same order, the justices granted the government’s motions to lift injunctions on the ban temporarily. That day, the Department of Justice filed a motion for a stay in the Stone case, too, which was granted in March 2019.

The military ban took effect on April 12, 2019, even as litigation against it continues through court.

Case History:

  • August 25, 2017: President Trump signs a directive banning transgender Americans from enlisting in the United States military and leaving thousands of currently serving transgender servicemembers in limbo.
  • August 28, 2017: ACLU and the ACLU of Maryland file the initial complaint in the case, challenging President Trump’s proposed ban on open service for transgender Americans.
  • September 14, 2017: ACLU and ACLU of Maryland file motion for preliminary injunction, seeking immediate halt to President Trump’s anti-transgender order.
  • November 21, 2017: Federal judge grants the request for preliminary injunction, placing a temporary hold on the anti-transgender military ban, the second court to do so in less than a month.
  • December 21, 2017: A unanimous panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit denies the Trump Administration’s request for a stay, clearing the way for transgender Americans to enlist in the military starting January 1.
  • January 22, 2019: In two other cases tackling the anti-transgender military ban, the Supreme Court denies a request by the Trump administration to hear arguments regarding the proposed ban on transgender service members in the military. In the same order, the justices grant the government’s motions to lift injunctions on the ban temporarily. This means the military likely will soon again be able to refuse to allow transgender individuals to enlist.
  • January 23, 2019: The Department of Justice moves for a stay in the Stone case.
  • March 7, 2019: The court grants the stay in the Stone case, clearing the way for the anti-transgender military ban to take effect.
  • April 12, 2019: While litigation continues in court, the anti-transgender military policy takes effect.

Last Updated May 1, 2019

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