Supreme Court Allows Idaho Law Protecting Children From Transgender Procedures To Go Into Effect
WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 19, 2018: The U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., is the seat of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Judicial Branch of government.
Credit: Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images.

The Supreme Court ruled Monday to allow an Idaho law protecting children from life-altering transgender procedures to go into effect while the law is challenged in lower courts. 

The law, passed last year, bans procedures like double mastectomies on girls who identify as boys and giving children puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, which have been linked to bone development issues and heart problems. The law also stipulates that doctors who perform transgender procedures on kids could go to prison for 10 years. The decision means the law will go into effect for the state except for two families who say their children identify as transgender who sued with the help of the ACLU claiming the law was discriminatory. 

Justices Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett all sided with Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador who appealed to the court to turn back a sweeping injunction placed on the law by a federal judge who completely blocked the law. Justices Ketanji Brown Jackson, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan all dissented.

Gorsuch said that Judge B. Lynn Winmill, who blocked Idaho’s law back in December, went too far in her decision.

“Ordinarily, injunctions like these may go no further than necessary to provide interim relief to the parties,” he wrote. “In this case, however, the district court went much further, prohibiting a State from enforcing any aspect of its duly enacted law against anyone.”

The ruling was the first time for the Supreme Court to weigh in on a state law shielding children from life-altering transgender procedures. Labrador celebrated the ruling, saying it was a major win for children in his state. Litigation will continue and the Supreme Court will likely hear the case on its merits at some point after the appeals process. 

“I’ve witnessed firsthand the devastating consequences of drugs and procedures used on children with gender dysphoria. And it’s a preventable tragedy,” Labrador said. “The state has a duty to protect and support all children, and that’s why I’m proud to defend Idaho’s law that ensures children are not subjected to these life-altering drugs and procedures.”


“Those suffering from gender dysphoria deserve love, support, and medical care rooted in biological reality,” he added. “Denying the basic truth that boys and girls are biologically different hurts our kids. No one has the right to harm children, and I’m grateful that we, as the state, have the power — and duty — to protect them.”

Labrador’s appeal to the Supreme Court was backed by 19 Republican attorneys general, who argued that it would be a “devastating medical scandal” if Idaho was not allowed to protect children from transgender procedures. In recent years, over 20 states have enacted laws shielding children from transgender surgeries, puberty blockers, and cross-sex hormone regimens.

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