About the Program
This presentation will provide an overview of how sex discrimination doctrines, and other federal legal protections, are being developed through a series of cases involving transgender people.
The presentation will begin with an overview of what it means to be transgender, and in particular, how expert testimony has been developed to assist courts in understanding this population. The presentation will then pivot to a discussion of some of the pending marquee litigation around several issues, including the transgender military ban, transgender youth in school settings, legal restrictions on making corrections to identification documents, and the denial of transition-related health care. The presentation will also cover how this litigation has impacted (or is likely to impact) the development of the law under Title IX, the Affordable Care Act, and several constitutional theories.
*One hour of Virginia interactive (live) ethics MCLE credit is anticipated.
About Our Presenter
Tara Borelli is Counsel in the Southern Regional Office of Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people with HIV.
Borelli’s work centers on bringing test cases to advance equality and liberty for all LGBT people. She is presently a member of the Karnoski v. Trump legal team challenging the Trump administration’s ban on military service by transgender people. She also represents federal employees previously denied health coverage in violation of federal sex discrimination laws, and previously obtained a settlement in Esquivel v. Oregon, which removed restrictions on transition-related care for all transgender employees of the State of Oregon.
In an important win in July 2018 for transgender students, Borelli served as counsel in Adams v. St. Johns Cty. Sch. Bd., which sought equal access to restrooms for a Florida high school student, the first case of its kind to go to trial. Borelli also represented amici curiae school administrators across the country, in cases securing the right of transgender students to access school facilities in accordance with their gender identity in Whitaker v. Kenosha Unified Sch. Dist., Doe v. Boyertown Area Sch. Dist., Highland v. U.S. Dep’t of Educ., and G.G. v. Gloucester Cty. Sch. Bd.
Borelli previously brought litigation that helped declare the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) unconstitutional, in Golinski v. U.S. Office of Personnel Management, as well as helped secure marriage equality in Georgia’s Inniss v. Aderhold (Georgia), Harris v. Rainey (Virginia), and Sevcik v. Sandoval (Nevada). Borelli argued Sevcik to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, winning freedom for same-sex couples to marry in Nevada and establishing the legal precedent enabling other same-sex couples to marry throughout the western United States.
Borelli’s work also includes the ongoing protection of those victories for same-sex couples from cradle to grave, by overturning South Carolina’s refusal to recognize same-sex spouses on birth certificates in Carson v. Heigel, and by securing a class action victory for Florida widows and widowers who were denied recognition of their marriage on death certificates in Birchfield v. Armstrong. Borelli was lead counsel in Diaz v. Brewer, where she successfully argued to the Ninth Circuit that Arizona could not strip same-sex couples of family health coverage.
Borelli received her J.D. from the UC Berkeley School of Law and she is a member of the state bars of Georgia, California, and Washington. Her work has been recognized with Equality Arizona's Barry Goldwater Human Rights Award, and the Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom's Legal Service Award. She was also named by the Daily Journal as one of California’s Top 100 Lawyers and Top Women Lawyers.