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Mar 27, 2018 52 tweets 23 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Good morning from Seattle! We’re here at the US District Court for the Western District of WA to fight for a permanent block against @realDonaldTrump’s discriminatory #TransMilitaryBan.

Follow this thread for live coverage from inside the courtroom! Hearing starts @ 10am PDT.
If you need to catch up before the coverage, here's our very own @sashabuchert telling us a little about how we got here.
The facts are in. The judge has everything she needs to rule. We won’t be deterred by any of the recent attempts to dress the #TransMilitaryBan up as anything more than a baseless, immaterial attack on our community.
After counsel introduced themselves to the court, Justice Pechman made note of “last minute filings” (read, last-minute scrambling) from the @realDonaldTrump admin, and affirms that we will proceed in light of these filings. #TransMilitaryBan
LL attorney Natalie Nardecchia gives introduction.

“Transgender men & women who proudly serve our country (and those who wish to do so!) sacrifice to keep all of us safer. They are willing to pay the ultimate price to do so. They deserve peace of mind and security.”
Gov’t has cooked up post-hoc reasons for the #TransMilitaryBan, calling it “new policy.” Nothing new about it. Defendants shuffled paper, tweaked words.
Plaintiffs Karnoski, Layne and Callahan have noble dreams of serving their country—dreams shattered by #TransMilitaryBan. Conner Callahan is here today in the courtroom.
Justice Pechman speaks up. Says argument goes beyond the scope of today’s hearing by mentioning Friday’s “policy.” This hearing is to address ban as it WAS filed, says no one has been able to meaningfully analyze Friday’s documents yet.
LL attorney Nardecchia acknowledges and pivots skillfully to address harms:

The #TransMilitaryBan stigmatizes plaintiffs. Perpetuates lie that #transgender people are unable to serve. Labeling them as “disruptions” and “burdens” does not honor them as the heroes they are.
Nardecchia explains how the #TransMilitaryBan fails scrutiny in several regards.
Nardecchia quotes Ginsburg’s opinion in Sessions v. Morales-Santana, specifically “It will not do to hypothesize or invent governmental purposes for gender classifications post hoc.” 🤔 Sounds familiar! #TransMilitaryBan
The administration has invented reasoning to ban trans people from the military. They also cannot justify the harms they’ve caused. The #TransMilitaryBan lacks any rational basis.
The administration claims #transgender people will harm military readiness. But trans people have been openly serving for the past year, with NO effect on readiness.
The #TransMilitaryBan conveys to ALL troops that the military cannot be relied upon to follow its own rules or maintain consistent or fair standards.

Stressful and disruptive indeed!
"To the extent that Defendants' claim that gender dysphoria or transition-related care are inherently disqualifying, the military already considered and rejected these overbroad generalizations. So has the Court."
The @realDonaldTrump administration is happy to speculate that transgender troops have complicated medical needs that could impair their capacities. This has been proven false by actual science and expert opinion.
Unit cohesion is not justifiable reason for the #TransMilitaryBan. Openly transgender service members can be honest and express their true selves, contributing POSITIVELY to unit cohesion.

(Discrimination, however, absolutely disrupts cohesion.)
REMINDER: “Unit cohesion” has been used consistently throughout history to argue against allowing Black Americans; women; and lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans to enlist.

It’s been proven wrong, every time. #TransMilitaryBan
Nardecchia concludes, giving remainder of time to La Rond Baker of @AGOWA, who opens by citing desegregation of the military.

We committed to ensuring all could serve, without discrimination. #TransMilitaryBan
Justice Pechman inquires about the state of Washington’s interest in the case; Baker of @AGOWA cites interest in maintaining a strong WA National Guard and constitutional issues. #TransMilitaryBan
US Military is 2nd largest employer in WA state, employing 600,000+ Washingtonians.

#TransMilitaryBan negatively impacts WA’s ability to protect its natural resources through National Guard.
“Private prejudice against minorities can never justify governmental discrimination.” —La Rond Baker of @AGOWA #TransMilitaryBan
While unit cohesion, readiness and cost control have been legitimate government interests, there has been no evidence that these are impacted by the service of #transgender troops. #TransMilitaryBan
Defendants from @TheJusticeDept take the stand.

Opens by citing @realDonaldTrump’s memorandum from August and talks about case history.

Justice Pechman interrupts: “You’re not telling me anything I don’t know.” #TransMilitaryBan
Defendants pivot to talking about Friday’s “policy,” Justice Pechman reminds him that we are not here to talk about Friday’s last-minute filings. #TransMilitaryBan
Justice Pechman: “Is the new policy in effect or not?”

Defendant evades, asks for a dissolution of preliminary injunctions.

Judge reminds @TheJusticeDept: “You’ve already lost four times.”
🔥🔥🔥 #TransMilitaryBan
The government is asking for discovery in the arguments, to “test the assertions.”

As if our clients haven’t suffered enough harms in waiting 240+ days in limbo! 😠 #TransMilitaryBan
Defendants refer to their “experts on transgender service in the military.”

Justice Pechman reminds them that they failed to reveal who those experts were. “You lost that motion.” #TransMilitaryBan
Judge Pechman to @TheJusticeDept as they keep referring to late filings:
“Is there a procedural rule you can point me to that says I should accept late filings ... One that I’m bound by?”
Well, @TheJusticeDept keeps harping on how late filings allegedly make this case and the harms cited moot. You know, the documents that are NOT A PART of this case!

And—moot harms? Nah. Our clients know EXACTLY how harmful every single step of this fight has been.
“The new policy”—Imma let you finish, @TheJusticeDept, but, there IS no new policy at play here.

Reminder: The late filings from Friday are not part of this case, and they were simply a dressing-up of the same old 💩!
After continuing to refer back to documents that are not a part of the case and using up all of their time, @TheJusticeDept now decides to go over-time by actually attempting to answer the judge’s questions.
.@TheJusticeDept tried to cite “deference to the military” as justification.

Justice Pechman reminds him that we deferred re: Black Americans, gays and lesbians and women joining the military. “Those deferences were in error.” #TransMilitaryBan
US Attorney cites gender dysphoria as medical condition that prohibits trans people from service.

Judge Pechman: Don’t service people get pregnant? Have post-partum depression? Isn’t this just another issue that the military just has to deal with? #TransMilitaryBan
“What declarations for underlying factual disputes did you enter? You didn’t.”
Judge Pechman re: the government’s argument on gender dysphoria as a medical condition, which they did NOT submit in documents. 🔥🔥🔥
“Counsel, please.” Justice Pechman is all of us right now, tbh.
LL Attorney Natalie Nardecchia is back up for rebuttals. She quickly destroys the argument that the government did not have enough time to make their case—it’s been 8 MONTHS. #TransMilitaryBan
“Using gender dysphoria is really just a proxy to discriminate.”
Ryan Karnoski, Drew Layne and Conner Callahan all have felt personally called to serve and embarked on the paths to do so. But the #TransMilitaryBan *wholly forecloses* the possibility—simply because they’re transgender.
Plaintiff Jane Doe must refrain from expressing that she is a woman & transgender, due to actual and well-founded fear that she will be discharged. She also won’t receive any necessary medical care.

Let’s say that again: She has to PRETEND TO BE A MAN to keep her job. 🙅🏽‍♀️
Until a PERMANENT injunction is issued:
👉🏽#Transgender troops like client Jane Doe must serve in fear.
👉🏽Ryan Karnoski, Drew Layne & Conner Callahan must put dreams on hold
👉🏽All plaintiffs must wear undeserved badge of inferiority, foisted on them by @realDonaldTrump.
Judge Pechman was ready to issue a judgment in 10 days, but would like us to write on how the “new policy” will affect the constitutional claims against the #TransMilitaryBan, due in 7 days.
Judge Pechman asks who formats the briefs for the government.

Apparently, @TheJusticeDept has been using the wrong font (too small) against federal rules, to fit more into their briefs.

She asks them to redraft and submit, following the rules.

(w o w)
“If you want your arguments to be seriously considered, they cannot be in the footnotes. [of your briefs]”

Justice Pechman calling out @TheJusticeDept for failing to follow brief formatting rules. 🔥🔥🔥#TransMilitaryBan
Judge: Everyone has 7 days to file a new brief re: constitutional issues brought up by the new memo.

We will NOT be coming back to re-argue. She will take the new filings and give us a decision.

Court is now in recess. #TransMilitaryBan
Presser outside the court: LL Sr Attorney Natalie Nardecchia speaking.

Transgender service members risk their lives to defend the Constitution. Lambda Legal will fight to ensure they are protected under the laws they defend.
Conner Callahan has been planning to join the military since he was 13. He is also transgender. He works in law enforcement, and is ready and fit to serve. Conner is a client of ours and @OutServeSLDN in fighting the #TransMilitaryBan.
Plaintiff Staff Sergeant @SchmidCathrine has been serving for 13 years.

Transgender service members do not deserve the stigma forced upon them by the #TransMilitaryBan.
.@PistolPeteski of reminds all #LGBT service members: @OutServeSLDN has got your six.
.@HRC’s @cristoferosgro reminds us that the #TransMilitaryBan is an effort by this administration to roll back the progress we have made.
Asked by the press about the motions and arguments of today, Natalie affirms that we will fight the #TransMilitaryBan all the way.
😍 Dream Teams 😍

Photo 1: Lambda Legal attorneys Peter Renn & Natalie Nardecchia w/@OutServeSLDN’s @PistolPeteski & clients @SchmidCathrine & Conner Callahan.

Photo 2: Amazing @GenderJusticeWA squad incl. @danniaskini, clients in our case against the #TransMilitaryBan!

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More from @LambdaLegal

Jul 10, 2018
🚨 #BREAKING: @realDonaldTrump has nominated #BrettKavanaugh to the #SCOTUS seat vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy. 👎🏾 #SaveSCOTUS #WhatsAtStake🚨…
Judge #Kavanaugh has been on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for over 10 years. He's a member of the Federalist Society. (@FedSoc) (yikes!)
Let's take a look at his record! 🧐 #WhatsAtStake #SaveSCOTUS…
ICYMI: The Federalist Society is “a group of conservatives and libertarians dedicated to reforming the current legal order.” #SCOTUS nominee #BrettKavanaugh is a member. Fun!
Read 11 tweets
Jul 4, 2018
Time for some real talk: This #4thOfJuly, we're finding it extra difficult to celebrate the principles upon which we were taught this country was founded. We're having some trouble feeling it these days. Because honestly, the United States is failing those ideals.
The United States is failing to live up to its own professed ideals by targeting the most marginalized populations that live (or wish to live) within its borders—including women, immigrants, refugees, people of color, and queer people. It's a shame. It is shameful. #July4th
Respect 👏 for 👏 humanity 👏 is 👏 not 👏 a 👏 partisan 👏 issue 👏. All humans deserve the dignity of respect for their humanity. From all nations, and under all governments. #July4th
Read 5 tweets
May 30, 2018
BREAKING: We just sued the US @DeptOfDefense along with @OutServeSLDN on behalf of Nick Harrison, a veteran of two overseas combat tours who was denied a position in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps thanks to the Pentagon's outdated #HIV policies.…
Thanks to the medical realities of 2018, a person living with #HIV can safely perform any job.

But existing Pentagon policies prevented Nick, who lives with HIV, from commissioning. A necessary update to these policies is WELL past-due.
#HIV is managed no differently than other chronic illnesses that allow an individual to enlist or be appointed as an officer, so long as certain criteria are met. These conditions have no effect on force readiness.

There are *many* HIV+ JAG officers already serving!
Read 5 tweets
Apr 14, 2018
BREAKING: Federal court rules that our preliminary injunction against @realDonaldTrump’s #TransMilitaryBan must stay in place/ #LGBTQ…
The court handed us a significant victory on a number of fronts tonight, while also denying a part of our summary judgment motion. The court also clearly did not buy that @realDonaldTrump & @VP’s implementations “plan” from 3/23 is new.
“The Court also rules that, because transgender people have long been subjected to systemic oppression and forced to live in silence, they are a protected class.”


This is a legal gem from tonight’s ruling. The court ruled that transgender people are a protected class.
Read 9 tweets
Mar 24, 2018
BREAKING: The @WhiteHouse just released its proposed "plan" (if you can even call it that) to implement @realDonaldTrump's transgender military ban.
And the @DeptofDefense "report" (we're using that term only because they are):
This is nothing more than a transparent ruse cobbled together with spittle and duct tape designed solely to try to mask discrimination. A plan to implement an unconstitutional decree is an unconstitutional plan.
Read 22 tweets
Feb 7, 2018
WATCH: @SenWarren is on the Senate floor right now talking about Jeff Sessions's disastrous first year as Attorney General:
.@SenWarren: "Last year, every single Republican voted to confirm Jeff Sessions—a man deemed too racist to hold a federal court judgeship in 1986—to lead the agency charged with defending justice for all Americans."
.@SenWarren: In 1986, Corretta Scott King warned us that Jeff Sessions had used the awesome power of his office as an Alabama prosecutor to chill the free exercise of the vote by African Americans. As Attorney General, he’s continued that crusade.
Read 11 tweets

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