On Tuesday, a federal judge decided against pausing the lawsuit contesting Alabama’s ban on gender-affirming medical treatments for minors, as similar legal cases are moving toward the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. District Judge Liles Burke turned down a request from the U.S. Department of Justice to delay the Alabama case. The Justice Department wanted to wait until higher courts decide if states can make these kinds of bans because “this exceptional legal landscape is quickly evolving.”
The ban makes it a felony for doctors to give treatments like puberty blockers or hormones to individuals under 19 to support their gender transition, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Over 20 states have passed laws that either ban or limit gender-affirming medical treatment for young people. Most of these laws are currently being challenged in court.
In May 2022, Judge Burke stopped Alabama from enforcing its ban on certain treatments for transgender kids with a temporary order. This happened after a three-day court case brought by parents of transgender children. Judge Burke said the law might go against the Constitution. The U.S. Department of Justice joined the case to support the parents.
Attorney General Steve Marshall didn’t agree with Judge Burke’s temporary order and appealed it. In August, a group of three judges from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals canceled Judge Burke’s order.
The Alabama families with transgender kids who are fighting the law have asked the entire 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to look at the decision made by the three judges.
For now, the law is not being enforced because of the temporary order, until the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals makes a final decision. The case is set to go to trial in April.