Monday, July 15, 2024

US Supreme Court to review Tennessee transgender healthcare case

US Supreme Court to Review Lawsuit Challenging Tennessee Ban on Transgender Healthcare for Minors

The US Supreme Court to Review Tennessee Law Banning Transgender Care for Minors

The US Supreme Court has agreed to review a lawsuit challenging a Tennessee law that bans hormone therapy and puberty blockers for children under 18. This marks the first time the current nine Supreme Court justices will have the opportunity to weigh in on this contentious issue.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, 25 US states have similar laws, some of which have been put on hold by lawsuits. Three Tennessee transgender teenagers, their parents, and a doctor who provides transgender care have brought the lawsuit alleging that the 2023 Tennessee ban violates the US constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law by discriminating on the basis of sex.

The Biden administration, along with major US medical groups, have joined their side in this case, arguing that the law prevents transgender individuals from accessing necessary drugs and therapies available to other adolescents with medical needs. They also claim that the ban infringes on parental rights to access essential care for their children.

US Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, the Biden administration’s top Supreme Court advocate, stated in a brief filed last year that the Tennessee law and similar bans “inflict profound harm on transgender adolescents and their families” by denying them “appropriate and necessary” treatment for a serious medical condition. She urged the Supreme Court to settle the dispute over the legality of transgender care bans.

In response, lawyers for the state of Tennessee argue that the law reflects the will of the state’s elected lawmakers and addresses a pressing public concern. They maintain that the ban ensures minors do not receive treatments until they fully understand the lifelong consequences or until the science develops to potentially alter the state’s view on their efficacy.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments in this case, United States v. Skrmetti, in the autumn and issue a decision next year. This comes after a previous ruling in 2020 that federal law prohibits discrimination against transgender employees, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg being replaced by a more conservative appointee, Amy Coney Barrett. Stay tuned as the Supreme Court navigates this complex and divisive issue that impacts the rights and healthcare of transgender youth.

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