Transgender Tropes & Constitutional Review

58 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2019

See all articles by Jennifer Levi

Jennifer Levi

Western New England University School of Law

Kevin M. Barry

Quinnipiac University - School of Law

Date Written: June 6, 2019


The Trump administration is aggressively and systematically rolling back policies that protect transgender people. History teaches that these governmental attacks are not new, but instead represent the latest salvo in a long but losing battle to disparage transgender people, who have been ruthlessly depicted as criminals, deviants, and selfish iconoclasts. Notwithstanding the current administration’s open hostility toward transgender people, constitutional protections endure. This Essay discusses the evolution of government discrimination against transgender people — from laws that criminalized the violation of gender norms in the late twentieth century to the present‐day exclusion of transgender people from the U.S. military — and transgender people’s continued efforts to secure recognition of their rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Keywords: transgender, gender identity, equal protection, substantive due process, fourteenth amendment, military ban

Suggested Citation

Levi, Jennifer and Barry, Kevin M., Transgender Tropes & Constitutional Review (June 6, 2019). Yale Law & Policy Review, Vol. 37, No. 589, 2019. Available at SSRN:

Jennifer Levi

Western New England University School of Law ( email )

1215 Wilbraham Road
Springfield, MA 01119
United States

Kevin M. Barry (Contact Author)

Quinnipiac University - School of Law ( email )

275 Mt. Carmel Ave.
Hamden, CT 06518
United States

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