A federal appeals panel said Saturday that a Tennessee law banning hormone therapy and puberty inhibitors for transgender youth could take effect, and a federal court granted full enforcement of a law banning transitional care in the United States. It will be the first time that
of RulingThe ruling, issued by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, follows a district court judge’s temporary injunction to ban hormone therapy and puberty blockers. It was announced in less than two weeks. Judges will now consider broader appeals of the temporary suspension of the law, and a final ruling is expected by Sept. 30, he said.
The decision will be a significant blow to transgender youth, their families and their supporters. They have turned to the state judiciary as a last resort to block a comprehensive set of transitional care laws that they claim will harm young people’s health.
Until Saturday’s ruling, judges have ruled to temporarily or permanently suspend its enforcement after allegations that it discriminates against transgender people and is unconstitutional. rice field.
The decision also impacts the health care and political situation for transgender youth and their families, as conservative-led states enact a series of laws aimed at limiting LGBTQ rights and access to health care. It highlights how sparse and uncertain the Twenty states have approved transition-related medical bans or restrictions. Many families and health care providers have considered moving their homes or clinics for access to that care.
In Tennessee, a Republican majority in Congress supported such a bill, dubbing it SB1 as an indication of its importance to lawmakers’ agendas. Once the law takes effect, doctors will no longer be able to initiate transitional treatment for new patients, and existing treatments for current patients will end by March 2024.
But just days before the law took effect on July 1, Judge Eli J. Richardson of the Central District of Tennessee decided to temporarily maintain access to hormone therapy and puberty inhibitors. However, it allowed the enforcement of the ban on the same law. Transition surgery for minors.
But a panel of appeals, led by Chief Justice Jeffrey S. Sutton, found that Judge Richardson overruled his statewide ruling, and challengers argued that the statute violated their constitutional rights. questioned whether his claim could prevail.
“A tenured federal judge should be careful to keep the troubling and novel subject of the medical controversy out of the rise and fall of democracy by interpreting the almost unamendable federal constitution to occupy this field. ‘ wrote Judge Sutton. appointed to court With former President George W. Bush became the judge He also argued that state legislatures have a position to regulate such treatment.
But he cautioned, especially after several other judges ruled against similar bans in other states. He writes: “We have to admit that these early observations are just early ones. We could be wrong.”
Judge Amr Tapah also joined his decision. appointed to his seat By former President Donald J. Trump.
Senior Justice Helen N. White said, I made sure I took her seat He said in court during the George W. Bush presidency that he would have narrowed the scope of an injunction to temporarily block the enactment of the law, rather than overturn it altogether. But unlike other judges on the panel, she said she believed the law was likely unconstitutional by discriminating on the basis of sex.
In her opinion, she agrees and disagrees with the majority, but stressed that the decision was only temporary.
But Republicans, who see the law as a necessary mechanism to protect children from dangerous medical care, welcomed the commission’s decision on Saturday.
“The lawsuit is not over yet, but this is a big win,” said Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Scumetti in a statement, adding that the state is likely to win in broad legal advocacy. rice field.
In a joint statement, legal groups challenging the ban on behalf of transgender youth, their parents and doctors in Tennessee called the ruling “a heartbreaking development beyond disappointment.”
“As we and our clients consider next steps, we want all transgender youth in Tennessee to know that this fight is far from over. , will continue to challenge this law until it is permanently defeated and Tennessee is a safer place to raise children “for all families,” says the American Civil Liberties Union and the Tennessee American Civil Liberties Union. The coalition including said.
The Appeals Board will now consider a more permanent ruling on the interim judgment, while the district court will hear arguments over the constitutionality of the underlying law.