U.S. Supreme Court to Review Legal Challenge from United States, Families, and Doctors Opposing Transgender Health Care Ban

By Yana Singhal

WASHINGTON, DC –  After various challenges on the Transgender Health Care Ban, the Supreme Court of the U.S. has granted certiorari in a legal challenge brought by the U.S. states and Tennessee families and a medical provider against a 2023 state law banning gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth, said the ACLU Monday in a press release.

Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice at the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project, notes in the ACLU statement, “The future of countless transgender youth in this and future generations rests on this Court adhering to the facts, the Constitution, and its own modern precedent,” adding, “These bans represent a dangerous and discriminatory affront to the well-being of transgender youth across the country and their Constitutional right to equal protection under the law.”

Strangio added the bans “are the result of an openly political effort to wage war on a marginalized group and our most fundamental freedoms. We want transgender people and their families across the country to know we will spare nothing in our defense of you, your loved ones, and your right to decide whether to get this medical care.”

Tara Borelli, senior counsel at Lambda Legal, argues in the press release how the Supreme Court “has historically rejected efforts to uphold discriminatory laws…(these) ‘categorical bans on the provision of gender-affirming care will continue to wreak havoc on the lives of transgender youth and their families.’”

Borelli is “grateful that transgender youth and their families will have their day in the highest court, and [Lambda Legal] will not stop fighting to ensure access to this life-saving, medically necessary care.”

Lucas Cameron-Vaughn, staff attorney at the ACLU of Tennessee, said, “The Court has the power to protect trans youth’s right to access the healthcare they need by striking down this discriminatory law.

“As politicians continue to fuel divisions for their own political gain, it’s crucial to recognize that for trans youth and their families, this isn’t about politics — (the ban) is about the fundamental freedom to access vital, life-saving healthcare. We are steadfast in our commitment to fiercely advocate for trans youth and their families, ensuring they have the autonomy to access the care they need to survive and thrive, and the Court has the opportunity to make that future a reality.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Tennessee, Lambda Legal, and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP said they “asked the Court to review a September 2023 decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals allowing Tennessee’s ban to stay in effect. The U.S. intervened in the Plaintiffs’ case at the district court and also asked the Court to review the Sixth Circuit decision.”

The ACLU added, “Tennessee law prohibits medical providers from treating transgender youth with evidence-based gender-affirming medical treatment and requires youth receiving gender-affirming care to end that care by March 31, 2024,” citing precedent in “the Supreme Court’s 2020 ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County and other long-standing precedents, trial courts have blocked such bans in Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee.”

The ACLU notes that in June of last year, “a federal court in Arkansas struck down that state’s ban on gender-affirming care after a two-week trial in the first and only post-trial ruling on the constitutionality of such a law, finding it violated the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment as well as the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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