US Attorney General Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions’ job just got a little harder. Thursday night, the U.S. District Court for Central California granted California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s motion to intervene on behalf of the State of California in Stockman v. Trump. The court rescheduled the Nov. 20 hearing to Dec. 11.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Equality California and seven individual plaintiffs challenging President Trump’s transgender military ban. The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and Latham & Watkins LLP serve as co-counsel representing the original plaintiffs. Becerra’s office is representing the State of California as a plaintiff to protect the State and its 92,000 transgender residents from what Becerra called a “patently discriminatory federal policy.”
“Our state is home to more than 130,000 active duty military personnel, in addition to more than 56,000 members of the National Guard and Reserves,” Becerra said in a press release. “We are ready to get to work to defend the rights of transgender service members and those who seek to enlist in our armed forces. In California, we stand together against discrimination and inequality. We look forward to joining as a co-plaintiff in this critically important lawsuit to defend the rights of Californians against President Trump’s prejudicial and discriminatory agenda.”
“This is an important development in the fight to stop Trump’s transgender military ban for good,” said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter. “In taking this action, the court recognized the crucial perspective our state with the largest military population brings to bear on the serious question it is being asked to address regarding the harms of this ban. We are grateful to Attorney General Becerra for joining us in this critical case.”
“Today we take another step forward in beating back Trump’s reckless ban,” said GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi. “It is incredibly significant to have the state of California – the most populous state in the nation — with us in this fight for service members, for those who wish to enlist, and for the stability and strength of the military.”
“We must stop Trump’s transgender military ban once and for all—too much is at stake for California, and for the nation,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. “I want to thank Attorney General Becerra for joining in this effort to stop the ban, which discriminates against our state’s residents, has no rationale for being in place, and makes us less safe. Today’s action by the court makes us even more confident that it will rule decisively against the administration and their reckless policy.”