High Court to Review Tennessee Ban on Medical Transition Treatments for Minors

High Court to Review Tennessee Ban
High Court to Review Tennessee Ban. Credit | Getty images

United States – On Monday, the U. S. Supreme Court said that it would consider the constitutionality of a Tennessee law that prohibits minors from accessing some forms of medical treatment to transition from one gender to another in that state, as reported by HealthDay.

These prohibited procedures entail the administration of drugs such as puberty blockers or hormones.

The court will have an opportunity to review arguments that concern transitional care for trans-identified children for the first time.

Biden Administration’s Argument

The question is whether the new law infringes upon the Constitutional rights of those in search of such care, as per the Biden administration, which has argued that the court should accept the case filed as United States v. Skrmetti.

The administration believes that a ban which states that the treatment for gender dysphoria is disallowed for youths ‘frames that prohibition in explicitly sex-based terms.’

In a petition to the court, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar stated that the Tennessee law bars the transgender youth from receiving the medical intervention but “does not in any way prohibit patients from undergoing the same procedures for any different purposes.”

The case is already in the federal court system, where different rulings have been made concerning it.

Legal Landscape and State Initiatives

Republican-controlled states across the country have advocated for laws in the last few years regarding gender transition, and 20 states have enacted bans, as reported by the New York Times.

In mid-May, Supreme Court justices decided to lift the veil temporarily and let Idaho deny medical treatments to trans minors according to the law enacted by Republicans in the state. It criminalizes medical assistance of minors seeking gender affirmation primarily through hormonal treatments by physicians.

A nine-member Supreme Court approved that measure based on an emergency motion and going by votes indicated in the report, liberal judges seemed to be in the minority and dissented, the New York Times reported.

As much as the court is being called upon to make a ruling on the case in Kentucky referred to as S. B. 150, which, according to the New York Times, prohibits doctors from performing gender-transition surgery, administering puberty blockers, or providing hormones to those below the age of 18 years.

Judicial History and Current Status

The two laws passed in both Kentucky and Tennessee were put on hold last summer because federal judges in both states suspended the laws days before crucial parts of it were to take effect.

However, a divided panel on the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit reversed these rulings and the treatment bans were restored in each of the states. The plaintiffs in each case have now taken their respective cases to the Supreme Court as the New York Times noted.