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November 18, 2019
Katie Barrett Wiik Moderates Transgender Rights Panel at 2019 AJEI Summit

The 2019 Appellate Judges Education Institute (AJEI) Summit brought together more than 400 appellate judges, staff attorneys, and lawyers to discuss the emerging trends, challenges, and legal issues affecting appellate practitioners and the judiciary. The Summit was held in Washington, D.C., from November 14-17, 2019.

Katie Barrett Wiik moderated the session “Recognizing Transgender Rights: How Federal and State Courts are Defining the Rights of Transgender Individuals,” which focused on current legal issues relating to transgender people. Katie has handled several litigation matters representing transgender people who alleged that they experienced discrimination based upon their gender identities.

The panel introduced the foundational concepts of what it means to identify as transgender and addressed a high-level understanding of the modern science of gender, before considering some of the common health and economic disparities and societal obstacles that transgender people frequently face. The panel also examined legal issues concerning transgender individuals currently being litigated in both state and federal courts around the country. This included litigation regarding the Trump Administration’s position on transgender soldiers, the pending Supreme Court cases regarding the scope of Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination, as well as efforts to expand protections for transgender persons under federal and state laws. 

Panel members included Casey Pick of the Trevor Project in Washington, D.C., Sasha Buchert with Lambda Legal in Washington, D.C., and Professor Tobias B. Wolff, Jefferson B. Fordham Professor of Law and Deputy Dean at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, all of whom are lawyers and advocates involved in the transgender rights movement.

From left to right: Ric Schickele, Casey Pick, Sasha Buchert, Professor Tobias Wolff, and Katie Barrett Wiik