On Friday, the Texas state Supreme Court allowed the state child welfare agency to continue investigations of “‘sex change’ procedures” that may “constitute child abuse under existing Texas law,” according to the Office of the Attorney General, as noted by Republican Governor Greg Abbott in February.
A lower court issued an injunction in March, banning state authorities from going forward with Abbott’s directive that told the Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate such situations.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Texas, and Lambda Legal had filed a lawsuit over the governor’s direction to investigate “‘sex change’ procedures” on children.
Travis County District Judge Amy Clark Meachum then blocked an investigation by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services of the parents of a 16-year-old who claimed to be transgender and brought the lawsuit.
Meachum later temporarily halted investigations from the direction of the governor throughout the state. The ruling was later upheld by a Texas appeals court, per NPR.
The Friday decision gets rid of Judge Meachum’s statewide directive, but it allows the injunction against investigating the specific family to remain. The state supreme court said the appeals court had gone above its power by putting forward a statewide directive.
“The far-reaching injunction was automatically superseded when the state filed an interlocutory appeal. But appeals court judges then reinstated the statewide injunction,” the outlet noted.
“Having reviewed the record, we conclude that reinstating the temporary injunction is necessary to maintain the status quo and preserve the rights of all parties,” the appeals judges wrote at the time.
The supreme court decided that Abbot and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton are allowed to share their viewpoints, but the child welfare agency is “not compelled by law to follow them.”
“Just as the Governor lacks authority to issue a binding ‘directive’ to DFPS, the court of appeals lacks authority to afford statewide relief to nonparties,” the supreme court also said.
The ruling was only concerning carrying out the injunction, while the “merits of the case — whether state-ordered child abuse investigations into transgender care violate the rights of families — remains before the Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals,” per the Austin American-Statesman.
Paxton tweeted in celebration, writing, “Just secured a win for families against the gender ideology of doctors, big pharma, clinics trying to ‘trans’ confused, innocent children. SCOTX green-lighted investigations that lower Dem courts froze,” adding, “‘Transing’ kids through surgery/drugs is abuse & I’ll do all I can to stop it.”
Just secured a win for families against the gender ideology of doctors, big pharma, clinics trying to “trans” confused, innocent children. SCOTX green-lighted investigations that lower Dem courts froze
“Transing” kids through surgery/drugs is abuse & I’ll do all I can to stop it
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) May 13, 2022
As The Daily Wire previously reported, on February 22, Abbott wrote a letter to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), stating, “The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has now confirmed in the enclosed opinion that a number of so-called ‘sex change’ procedures constitute child abuse under existing Texas law.”
The governor continued, “Because the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is responsible for protecting children from abuse, I hereby direct your agency to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances of these abusive procedures in the State of Texas.”
“It is already against the law to subject Texas children to a wide variety of elective procedures for gender transitioning, including reassignment surgeries that can cause sterilization, mastectomies, removals of otherwise healthy body parts, and administration of puberty-blocking drugs or supraphysiologic doses of testosterone or estrogen,” Abbott noted. “Texas law imposes reporting requirements upon all licensed professionals who have direct contact with children who may be subject to such abuse, including doctors, nurses, and teachers, and provides criminal penalties for failure to report such child abuse. … Texas law also imposes a duty on DFPS to investigate the parents of a child who is subjected to these abusive gender-transitioning procedures, and on other state agencies to investigate licensed facilities where such procedures may occur.”