The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has issued a temporary reversal of a district court decision, allowing Tennessee’s ban on “gender-affirming care” for children to take effect while the appeal process is underway. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a law in March that prohibits sex change operations, cross-sex hormone therapy, and puberty blockers for minors seeking to transition. The ban has faced legal challenges from parents of transgender children and garnered support from President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice.
The Sixth Circuit Federal Appeals Court, with a two-to-one majority, granted Tennessee’s emergency appeal and stated that the state is likely to succeed in appealing the preliminary injunction. The law was scheduled to go into effect on July 1 but will now be enforced immediately. It authorizes the Tennessee Attorney General to investigate healthcare providers who violate the ban, imposing potential fines of up to $25,000.
Chief Judge Jeffrey Sutton and Judge Amal Thapar, appointed by Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump, respectively, joined the majority decision, arguing that policy matters such as transgender care should be determined by the legislature rather than the judiciary. This ruling is the first by a federal appeals court that allows a ban on “gender-affirming care” for minors to be implemented.
Advocacy groups, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, and attorneys for the plaintiffs expressed disappointment and sadness over the decision, vowing to continue challenging the law. Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, on the other hand, celebrated the ruling as a significant victory, highlighting that the case is far from over.
Chief Judge Sutton announced that the court will expedite the appeals process with the aim of resolving the case by September 30. The case, known as Williams v. Skrmetti, is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Both sides are preparing for further legal proceedings to determine the fate of the ban on transgender surgeries for minors in Tennessee.
The temporary reversal by the Sixth Circuit allows Tennessee’s prohibition on “gender-affirming care” for minors to be enforced while the legal battle continues. This decision underscores the ongoing debate surrounding transgender rights and the role of the judiciary in shaping policy on sensitive issues. The final outcome of the case will have significant implications for the treatment and rights of transgender minors in Tennessee and could potentially impact similar laws in other states.
Stay Informed: “A Look into the Legal Battle Over Tennessee’s Ban on Transgender Surgeries for Minors”