A federal judge has blocked Kentucky's vile anti-trans law from taking effect today, saying that the law violates the Constitution and finding that gender-affirming care is medically necessary.
Seven transgender youth and their families sued the state in May, challenging the medical portion of Senate Bill 150 and asking for temporary injunctive relief. The families, who use pseudonyms in the lawsuit, argued the new law violates both plaintiffs’ and their parents’ individual protected rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.
On Wednesday, hours before the full law was slated to take effect Thursday, U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Kentucky David Hale found merit in that claim and temporarily blocked that portion of the law from being enforced.
“Based on the evidence submitted, the court finds that the treatments barred by SB 150 are medically appropriate and necessary for some transgender children under the evidence-based standard of care accepted by all major medical organizations in the United States,” Hale wrote in his order. The families who’ve sued have “shown a strong likelihood of success on the merits of their constitutional challenges to SB 150.”
The bill, passed this session, was the subject of massive protests in Frankfort this year, with many in the LGBTQ community saying that the omnibus bill unfairly targeted them and that it was “anti-trans.”
Senate Bill 150 passed with the support of the vast majority of GOP legislators, who have supermajorities in both chambers of the Kentucky General Assembly. Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed the bill, but the legislature overrode his veto. Numerous major medical associations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Medical Association, have filed amicus briefs in support of the plaintiffs who assert the law is unconstitutional.
In addition to banning banning puberty-blockers, hormones and gender-affirming surgeries for kids under 18, Senate Bill 150 also bans discussion and lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation, prevents trans students from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity, and stops school districts from requiring teachers use a student’s preferred pronouns. Those portions of the law remain intact.
In his Wednesday order, Hale debunked many of the assertions Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron cited in his defense of the law, and chided him for relying on “unnecessarily inflammatory language.”
“The Commonwealth offers no evidence that Kentucky healthcare providers prescribe puberty-blockers or hormones primarily for financial gain as opposed to patients’ well-being,” Hale said, referencing a claim made by Cameron. “Nor do the quoted studies from ‘some European countries’ questioning the efficacy of the drugs, or anecdotes from a handful of ‘detransitioners’ banning the treatments entirely, as SB 150 would do.”
Hale continued, “doctors currently decide, based on the widely accepted standard of care, whether puberty blockers or hormones are appropriate for a particular patient. Far from ‘protecting the integrity and ethics of the medical profession.’” Rather, “SB 150 would prevent doctors from acting in accordance with the applicable standard of care,” the judge wrote.
Cameron claimed in a filing that the law doesn’t violate parents’ due process to seek medical care for their children, because they do not have “fundamental right to obtain whatever drugs they want for their children, without restriction.”
But plaintiffs’ parents don’t allege this in their lawsuit, Hale said. Rather, they insist on “the right to obtain established medical treatments to protect their children’s health and well-being,” he wrote.
If the law were to take full effect, it would “eliminate treatments that have already significantly benefited six of the seven minor plaintiffs and prevent other transgender children from accessing these beneficial treatments in the future,” Hale wrote.
Blocking the law from taking effect “will not result in any child being forced to take puberty blockers or hormones,” he continued. “Rather, the treatments will continue to be limited to those patients whose parents and health care providers decide, in accordance with the applicable standard of care, that such treatment is appropriate.”
AG Daniel Cameron is appealing the injunction based on the grounds that trans kids need to be made to suffer or some shit to keep the normies happy, but frankly, fuck him.
The bigger issue is every time that anti-trans bills like this have been challenged in federal court as the KY ACLU did here, the feds have enjoined and blocked the laws from taking effect because they are patently unconstitutional.
This was always headed for SCOTUS.