UPDATE: On March 23 the Trump administration announced its proposal to implement the trans military ban. On April 23, six additional individuals who want the opportunity to serve in the military and are transgender joined the ACLU's lawsuit.

The ACLU, ACLU of Maryland, and Covington & Burling LLP filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration on behalf of six members of the armed forces who are transgender and the ACLU of Maryland. The lawsuit challenges the president’s directive banning transgender service members from continuing to serve in the military, banning transgender service members from receiving certain medically necessary health care, and banning transgender individuals from enlisting in the armed forces.

On August 25, 2017, Trump formalized the ban that he previously announced on Twitter in a Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security. The lawsuit argues that the new ban violates the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and substantive due process by singling out transgender individuals for unequal and discriminatory treatment based on uninformed speculation, myths and stereotypes, moral disapproval, and a bare desire to harm this already vulnerable group. Trump’s ban follows the Department of Defense’s determination in 2016 that there was no basis for the military to exclude transgender individuals from openly serving their country subject to the same fitness requirements as other service members.



Convington and Burling LLP, the ACLU of Maryland, the ACLU Foundation

Date filed

August 28, 2017


The United States District Court for the District of Maryland


Judge George Levi Russell, III. (Marvin J. Garbis was originally assigned to the case until his retirement on 7/10/2018)



Case number

Case 1:17-cv-02459-MJG