U.S. Supreme Court to Rule on Tennessee's Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Transgender Minors

Grayson Larkspur

Updated Tuesday, June 25, 2024 at 6:07 AM CDT

U.S. Supreme Court to Rule on Tennessee's Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Transgender Minors

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide the legality of a Republican-backed ban in Tennessee on gender-affirming medical care for transgender minors. This decision comes after an appeal by Democratic President Joe Biden's administration, following a lower court's decision to uphold Tennessee's controversial ban.

The Supreme Court will hear the case in its next term, beginning in October. Challengers argue that this ban violates the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment guarantees of equal protection and due process. This case is part of a broader trend, as numerous Republican-led states have enacted similar measures targeting medications or surgical interventions for adolescents experiencing gender dysphoria. Lawmakers supporting these restrictions label the treatments as experimental and potentially harmful. In contrast, medical associations argue that gender-affirming care is life-saving and effective in reducing the high rates of suicide associated with gender dysphoria.

Several plaintiffs, including transgender minors and their parents, have sued in Tennessee to defend these treatments. Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti supports the law, asserting that it protects children from irreversible gender treatments. The law specifically bans healthcare workers from administering puberty blockers and hormones for purposes "inconsistent with the minor's sex," allowing treatments only for congenital conditions or early puberty.

Tara Borelli of Lambda Legal stated that bans on gender-affirming care will cause harm to transgender youth and their families. ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio described Tennessee's ban as a "dangerous and discriminatory affront" to the wellbeing of transgender youth. The Justice Department declined to comment on the issue on a Monday.

In 2023, a federal judge blocked Tennessee's law, citing a likely violation of the 14th Amendment. However, in September 2023, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the judge’s preliminary i****ction in a 2-1 decision. The 6th Circuit emphasized that life-tenured federal judges should not prohibit citizens and legislatures from discussing high-stakes medical policies. Consequently, Biden's administration urged the Supreme Court to address state bans, arguing that they harm transgender adolescents by denying necessary medical treatments.

The Supreme Court did not act on a separate appeal regarding a similar law in Kentucky on the same Monday. These laws are part of broader Republican efforts at the state level to restrict LGBT rights, including bans on gender identity discussions in schools, drag shows, and transgender participation in sports. The Supreme Court has addressed several LGBT rights cases in the past decade, including legalizing same-sex marriage in 2015 and protecting gay and transgender employees from workplace discrimination in 2020.

The case involves a Tennessee law that restricts puberty blockers and hormone therapy for transgender minors. The federal appeals court in Cincinnati allowed laws in Tennessee and Kentucky to take effect after being blocked by lower courts. Lawyers for transgender teens in Tennessee emphasized the uncertainty and limbo faced by transgender youth and their families without the Court’s intervention. Actor Elliot Page, known for "Juno," "Inception," and "The Umbrella Academy," joined a legal filing supporting Supreme Court review. Arguments for the case will take place in the fall.

South Carolina recently became the 25th state to adopt a law restricting or banning gender-affirming medical care for transgender minors, with most state restrictions on transgender rights facing lawsuits. The U.S. Supreme Court had previously allowed Idaho to enforce its transgender restrictions after lower courts had blocked them.

Currently, at least 24 states have laws barring transgender women and girls from competing in certain women's or girls' sports competitions, and at least 11 states have adopted laws barring transgender girls and women from girls' and women's bathrooms at public schools and other government facilities. Although the U.S. Supreme Court has rarely taken up transgender issues, it has addressed several LGBT rights cases in the past decade, including the 2020 ruling that a landmark civil rights law protects gay, lesbian, and transgender people from employment discrimination.

In 2016, the Supreme Court agreed to take up the case of Gavin Grimm, a transgender student barred from using the boys' bathroom in his Virginia high school. However, the Court dropped the case after the Trump administration scrapped an Obama-era directive advising schools to allow students to use the bathroom of their chosen gender. In 2021, the Supreme Court declined to get involved in Grimm's case after the appeals court ruled in his favor again, although Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas noted they would have taken up the school board’s appeal.

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in this landmark case, the outcome will have significant implications for transgender rights and medical care across the United States.

Conservative Bias:

Once again, the radical left is trying to push their dangerous, untested medical experiments on our children, and it's up to the Supreme Court to put a stop to it. Tennessee's common-sense ban on gender-affirming care for minors is a necessary measure to protect our youth from irreversible harm. But of course, the Biden administration, in their never-ending quest to pander to the most extreme elements of their base, is challenging this law. They want to strip away parental rights and hand over our kids to the whims of woke activists who care more about their ideological agenda than the well-being of children. The leftist medical associations claim these treatments are "life-saving," but they conveniently ignore the long-term consequences and the fact that many of these procedures are irreversible. It's time to stand up to this madness and protect our children from being used as pawns in the left's social engineering experiments.

Liberal Bias:

In a chilling move reminiscent of the darkest days of authoritarianism, Republican lawmakers in Tennessee have enacted a barbaric ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors, a decision that threatens the very lives of these vulnerable youths. This draconian law, upheld by a reactionary lower court, is a blatant violation of the 14th Amendment’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. It’s nothing more than a cruel, discriminatory attack on transgender children, driven by a hateful agenda to roll back LGBT rights. The so-called "protection" these lawmakers claim to offer is a thinly veiled attempt to erase transgender ident***** and deny necessary medical treatments that have been proven to reduce suicide rates among transgender youth. The Biden administration's appeal to the Supreme Court is a crucial step in fighting back against this wave of bigotry. The stakes couldn't be higher, as the Supreme Court's decision will determine whether we uphold the dignity and humanity of transgender minors or allow them to be sacrificed on the altar of conservative extremism.

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