The clinic works to affirm and fight for the recognition of trans/gender identities.
Transgender Service in the Military
Jane Doe 2, et al., v. Trump
"The Supreme Court’s constitutional jurisprudence for nearly a half century has prohibited governments from embedding overbroad assumptions about men and women into federal and state law and policy. Yet the Mattis Report, which the United States government has offered as the foundation for its defense in this case, rests on five broad assertions about men and women as rationales for the government’s ban on transgender service members." The amicus brief filed by the Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic on behalf of the National Organization of Women and others challenges these assumptions citing legal precedent contrary to President Trump's arguments.
"Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Files Brief in D.C. Circuit Transgender Military Ban Case," Press Release, October 30, 2018. Read the brief.
Transgender Service in the Military
Karnoski v. Trump
President Trump’s ban on military service by transgender individuals runs counter to decades of well-settled judicial decisions forbidding the government from entrenching sex stereotypes in law, according to an amicus brief filed July 3 in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic in a case challenging the ban.
"Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Files Brief in Trump’s Transgender Military Ban Case," Press Release, July 5, 2018. Read the brief.
Restroom Access for Transgender Persons
G.G. v. Grimm
In an amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court by Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic, two of the nation’s leading civil rights legal organizations, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, challenged a Virginia school board’s decision to exclude a high school student from the boys bathroom because he is transgender.
Gavin Grimm, the 17-year old plaintiff-respondent in the case, challenges a policy adopted by the Gloucester County, Virginia school board that forbids transgender students from using bathroom facilities consistent with their gender identity. The policy provides that use of boys and girls bathrooms in the school district “shall be limited to the corresponding biological genders, and students with gender identity issues shall be provided an alternative appropriate private facility.” Grimm won in the federal appeals court below, and the school board sought review in the nation’s high court.
"Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic File Amicus Brief in G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board," Press Release, March 2, 2017. Read the brief.
Carcaño, et al. v. McCrory, et al
North Carolina’s law that excludes transgender men and women from restrooms consistent with their gender identity fails constitutional review, Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic argues in an amicus brief filed with the Fourth Circuit federal appeals court.
The law, passed in March 2015, tells all in the state that they can only use restrooms that match the sex marker on their birth certificate, even if that marker is inconsistent with their gender identity. It sparked immediate outcry from artists and business interests, prompting a boycott of the state for what many described as inhumane and discriminatory treatment of transgender people in the state.
"Columbia Law School Clinic Urges End to North Carolina’s Discriminatory Restroom Law," Press Release, October 25, 2016. Read the brief.
Trans/gender Policy Issues
Moving Forward: A Survey of Policies Affecting Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming Students at Columbia University, Best Practices at Peer Institutions, and Recommendations for the Future
Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic released a report that compares Columbia University’s policies on transgender and gender non-conforming students to best practices at peer institutions and makes recommendations for how to improve the policies in the future.
The report entitled “Moving Forward: A Survey of Policies Affecting Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming Students at Columbia University, Best Practices at Peer Institutions, and Recommendations for the Future,” was initiated by the clinic during the 2013-2014 academic year. Third-year students Helen M. Ethridge ’15 and Ethan M. Weinberg ’15 completed the report.
"Clinic Releases Report on Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Policies at Columbia University," Press Release, May 8, 2015. Read the report.