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Keker, Van Nest & Peters, Representing Cities and Counties Across the Nation, Urges the Federal Circuit to Support Transgender Veterans’ Access to Gender-Confirmation Surgery


Ryan Wong, Kristen Lovin, Ryan Hayward, Courtney Liss, and Sara Fitzpatrick of Keker, Van Nest & Peters, representing cities and counties across the nation, filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, asking the Court to compel the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to take steps to repeal its blanket ban on gender-confirmation surgery for transgender veterans, years after the Department announced its intent to do so. Transgender people, who serve in the U.S. military at a rate of two-to-three times more than the general population, are currently denied inclusive healthcare after their service due to the ban on coverage for gender-confirmation surgery.

The brief, authored by Keker, Van Nest & Peters, and joined by a diverse group of cities and counties, was filed in In Re Transgender Veterans Association. The brief supports the arguments of a petition on behalf of the Transgender Americans Veterans Association, which seeks to require the VA to take steps to repeal its regulation excluding surgery for “gender alterations” from the suite of medical benefits offered to veterans without further delay. The brief argues that the VA’s policy is out of step with the inclusive health care policies of cities and counties nationwide and denies what can be life-saving care for veterans. The brief points to a wide range of studies demonstrating that providing transgender-inclusive medical benefits, including gender- confirmation surgery, imposes negligible, if any, costs.

Keker, Van Nest & Peters represents the following cities and counties in the brief: City of Ann Arbor, Michigan; City of Austin, Texas; City of Alexandria, Virginia; Borough of Carlisle, Pennsylvania; City of Cincinnati, Ohio; City of Cleveland, Ohio; City of Lowell, Massachusetts; City of Miami Beach, Florida; City of New York, New York; City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; City of Portland, Oregon; County of Santa Clara, California; City of West Hollywood, California; City of Yonkers, New York.

Click here to read the full amicus curiae brief.

About Keker, Van Nest & Peters

For more than 40 years, Keker, Van Nest & Peters has litigated complex, high-stakes civil and criminal cases throughout the nation. The firm takes the cases where companies, products, and careers are riding on the result. Our clients are high- profile individuals, as well as some of the world’s most successful companies, including Genentech, Google, Instacart, Lyft, Major League Baseball, Meta, Netflix and Qualcomm. The firm’s areas of expertise include intellectual property, professional liability, class actions, general contract and commercial litigation, antitrust, white collar, and appellate.