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Cammermeyer v. Aspin

Significance, A Military Discharge, Summary Judgment, Legitimate But Not Rational, Impact


Margarethe Cammermeyer, Colonel


Les Aspin, U.S. Secretary of Defense, et al.

Plaintiff's Claim

That her discharge from service in the National Guard--based solely on her statement that she is a lesbian--was in violation of her constitutional rights.

Chief Lawyers for Plaintiff

Jeffrey I. Tilden, Michael H. Himes, Mary Newcombe

Chief Defense Lawyer

David M. Glass


Thomas Zilly


Seattle, Washington

Date of Decision

1 June 1994


Cammermeyer's discharge violated her equal protection and substantive due process rights but not her right to freedom of speech and association.

Related Cases

  • Meinhold v. U.S. Dept. of Defense, 34 F.3d 1469 (1994).
  • McVeigh v. Cohen, 983 F.Supp. 215 (1997).

Further Readings

  • Cammermeyer, Margarethe, with Chris Fisher. Service in Silence. New York: Viking, 1994.
  • "Lesbians, Long Overlooked, Are Central to Debate on Military Ban." New York Times, 4 May 1993.
  • Shenon, Philip. "Armed Forces Still Question Homosexuals." New York Times, 27 February 1996.
  • Shilts, Randy. Conduct Unbecoming. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1989 to 1994