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Supreme Court to Take Up State Bans on Gender-Affirming Care for Minors

June 24, 2024

If the justices strike down the state ban, it would mark a historic decision that could be used to set a precedent and help block other state bans.

The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear arguments on the constitutionality of state bans on gender-affirming care for youth.

Justices will hear an appeal from the Biden Administration seeking to block a law in Tennessee, which restricts puberty blockers and hormone therapy for transgender minors. The law was put into effect by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals last year, after being blocked in Tennessee by lower courts. The law also restricts gender-affirming surgery for minors, but the court does not plan to address this in the case.

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti released a statement Monday, stating he looks forward to “finishing the fight”.

“We fought hard to defend Tennessee’s law protecting kids from irreversible gender treatments and secured a thoughtful and well-reasoned opinion from the Sixth Circuit,” the statement reads. “This case will bring much-needed clarity to whether the Constitution contains special protections for gender identity.”

Oral arguments and a ruling are set to take place during the court’s next term, which starts in October and end in June 2025. The case will mark the first time the Supreme Court will step into the battle of transgender rights for minors, despite the fact that it has been a raging state topic in both healthcare and educational fields.

21 Republican-led states, including Tennessee, have enacted bans on transgender care. Most of which are facing lawsuits. Wyoming is set to join that list in July, when the state’s law banning hormone therapy, puberty blockers, and surgery for minors will go into effect. Only 15 Democratic-led states have issued protections.

At least 23 states have barred transgender women and girls from participating in certain state-sponsored competitions. 11 states have banned transgender women from using women’s bathrooms at public schools, according to AP.

Plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case include transgender teens and their families, who argue the bans violate the 14th Amendment by unequally barring transgender people from care that is available to others. Every major medical group have openly opposed such bans and said that gender-affirming treatments are proven to be medically necessary.

If the justices strike down the state ban, it would mark a historic decision that could be used to set a precedent and help block other state bans.

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