LISA HOWE, ET AL. v. BILL HASLAM - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Nov 5, 2014

Head Comment: CORRECTION: Concurring opinion by Judge Stafford added.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Abby R. Rubenfeld, Nashville, Tennessee; Shannon P. Minter, Christopher F. Stoll and Amy Whelan, San Francisco, California; and James E. Hough, Leah Ramos and Katie L. Viggiani, New York, New York, for the appellants, Lisa Howe, Erica Gilmore, Marisa Richmond, Wesley Roberts, Gay/Straight Alliance of Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School, The Tennessee Equality Project, and The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Joseph F. Whalen, Action Solicitor General and William J. Marett, Jr., Senior Counsel, for the appellee, Bill Haslam, as Governor of the State of Tennessee, in his official capacity.

Judge(s): FARMER

Plaintiffs allege that a 2011 act of the General Assembly adding a definition of “sex” to the Tennessee Human Rights Act and creating the Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act, now codified at Tennessee Code Annotated § 7-51-1801(1) & (2), violates the Equal Protection guarantees of the United States and Tennessee Constitutions. The trial court dismissed the action for lack of standing. We dismiss the claims of Plaintiffs Wesley Roberts and the Gay/Straight Alliance of Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School as moot where the Defendant Governor concedes that the Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act does not apply to Local Education Agencies or Tennessee schools. We affirm dismissal of the remaining Plaintiffs for lack of standing where they have failed to allege a discrete, palpable, cognizable injury in fact.