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Tennessee, Kentucky judges block bans on gender-affirming care

The state join Alabama and Arkansas judges in all issuing similar rulings against laws banning the treatments in their respective states.


As Alabama continues to await the results of its own lawsuit on a bill criminalizing the provision of gender-affirming care to gender dysphoric minors, federal judges in Tennessee and Kentucky have now also sided with plaintiffs seeking injunctive relief.

The rulings closely mirror the ruling of U.S. District Judge Liles Burke, a Trump appointee, who enjoined Alabama’s law days after it took effect in June of last year. 

“If Tennessee wishes to regulate access to certain medical procedures, it must do so in a manner that does not infringe on the rights conferred by the United States Constitution, which is of course supreme to all other laws of the land,” wrote U.S. District Judge Eli Richardson, another Trump appointee, in his ruling on the Tennessee law.

In Kentucky, U.S. District Judge David Hale, an Obama appointee, also granted injunctive relief.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the decision “tramples the right” of lawmakers to create public policy and vowed to fight the decision to the end.

A federal judge in Arkansas also ruled similarly just last week, adding to a pattern of decisions at the federal level that find the laws to violate the rights of transgender youth.

The case in Alabama isn’t set to go to trial until April 2024. Both parties are still waiting on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on the state’s appeal of the injunction.

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Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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