SCOTUS Takes Up Rare Transgender-Rights Case

High court will look at state bans on gender-affirming care for minors
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 24, 2024 9:06 AM CDT
SCOTUS Agrees to Hear Big Case on Transgender Rights
The Supreme Court of the United States is seen in Washington on March 26.   (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades, File)

The Supreme Court on Monday jumped into the fight over transgender rights, agreeing to hear an appeal from the Biden administration seeking to block state bans on gender-affirming care. The justices' action comes as Republican-led states have enacted a variety of restrictions on health care for transgender people, school sports participation, bathroom usage, and drag shows. The administration and Democratic-led states have extended protections for transgender people, including a new federal regulation that seeks to protect transgender students, per the AP. The case before the high court involves a law in Tennessee that restricts puberty blockers and hormone therapy for transgender minors.

The federal appeals court in Cincinnati allowed laws in Tennessee and Kentucky to take effect after they'd been blocked by lower courts. (The high court didn't act on a separate appeal from Kentucky.) "Without this Court's prompt intervention, transgender youth and their families will remain in limbo, uncertain of whether and where they can access needed medical care," lawyers for the transgender teens in Tennessee told the justices. Actor Elliot Page, the Oscar-nominated star of Juno, Inception, and The Umbrella Academy, was among 57 transgender people who joined a legal filing in support of Supreme Court review. Arguments will take place in the fall.

Last week, South Carolina became the 25th state to adopt a law restricting or banning gender-affirming medical care for transgender minors, even though such treatments have been available in the US for more than a decade and are endorsed by major medical associations. Most of the state restrictions face lawsuits. The justices had previously allowed Idaho to generally enforce its restrictions, after they'd been blocked by lower courts. At least 24 states have laws barring transgender women and girls from competing in certain women's or girls' sports competitions. At least 11 states have adopted laws barring transgender girls and women from girls' and women's bathrooms at public schools, and in some cases other government facilities. The nation's highest court has only rarely taken up transgender issues. More here.

(More transgender stories.)

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