May 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Plaintiff in major Supreme Court case on transgender rights dies

Aimee Stephens sits in a wheelchair outside the Supreme Court

Aimee Stephens in her wheelchair outside the Supreme Court in October 2019. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Aimee Stephens, a plaintiff in one of the first Supreme Court cases to address the civil rights of transgender people, died of health complications Tuesday in Detroit at age 59, the ACLU said in a statement.

The big picture: Stephens' case against her former employer, a Detroit funeral home owner who testified that she was fired for dressing as a woman, comes in the wake of a larger fight in the U.S. over employment protections for LGBTQ people.

What they're saying: "Aimee didn't set out to be a hero and a trailblazer, but she is one. We all owe her a debt of gratitude for her commitment to justice for all people, and her dedication to the trans community," the ACLU — which has represented her case in court — tweeted on Tuesday.

  • "We are saddened to hear that Aimee Stephens, plaintiff on the groundbreaking SCOTUS regarding #trans rights, has passed. We send our love to her beloved wife, Donna, and all those who knew her," the National Center for Transgender Equality tweeted Tuesday.

What to watch: The Court is expected to rule on Stephens' case this summer.

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