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Barring HIV-Positive Military Officers Has ‘No Rational Basis,’ Judge Rules

  • Challenge to defense policy may proceed to landmark trial
  • Naval Academy graduate says he’s glad to get his day in court
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A U.S. military policy that blocks HIV-positive service members from being commissioned as officers has “no rational basis,” a federal judge said in declining to throw out claims brought by graduates of the Air Force and Navy academies.

Five of the 10 claims in the lawsuit, including equal protection under the Constitution, survived the government’s motion to dismiss the case in a ruling Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett in Baltimore. The ruling allows the suit to proceed toward a possible landmark trial.