Leftist legal groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have asked the Supreme Court to strike down a Tennessee law protecting children from undergoing life-altering transgender procedures.
The ACLU, the ACLU of Tennessee, Lambda Legal, and the Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld law firm filed the petition on Wednesday claiming that the law prevents children from getting the “medical care” they need. The groups have claimed that the law violates the 14th Amendment, a claim that was previously rejected by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Over the past few months this vicious law has already had a disastrous impact in homes and communities across Tennessee,” said Lucas Cameron-Vaughn of the ACLU-TN. “Families are losing access to much-needed medical care that has allowed their children to flourish. This law denies these families’ dignity and signals to their children that they do not have the freedom to lead healthy and happy lives.”
Tennessee’s law, which was introduced by lawmakers after Daily Wire host Matt Walsh released videos showing a doctor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center discussing “huge money maker” transgender surgeries, was upheld in September by the 6th Circuit in a 2-1 ruling.
The law, SB 1, prohibits surgeries on children such as double mastectomies on girls who identify as boys and other genital procedures. It also prohibits children from being put on cross-sex hormones or puberty blockers, things that can have long-term impacts on fertility, bone development, and other serious developmental side effects.
After its passage and signage by Governor Bill Lee, the law was challenged in court the the ACLU and Lambda Legal on behalf of several families who have children who claim to be transgender.
A federal judge initially placed a preliminary injunction on the part of the bill banning cross-sex hormone and puberty blockers for children, but the 6th Circuit later overturned the injunction, saying that it was constitutional.
The law was defended by Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, who celebrated the 6th Circuit’s decision.
“This is a big win for democracy. Decisions that are not clearly resolved by the Constitution should be resolved by the people through their elected representatives. I am so proud of our team who stood strong against the overwhelming resources arrayed against Tennessee in this case,” he said.
If taken up by the Supreme Court, the case would have major national implications for the over 20 states that have moved to shield children from either transgender surgeries, hormone procedures, or both.