On Wednesday, two separate judges ruled against two separate laws from two separate states. Both of the laws had to do with transgender youth, just as both laws were targeted by the Biden Department of Justice. The ACLU also brought suit against both laws, to do with treatment for transitioning youth and another to do with biological men competing in women's sports.
DOJ in Arkansas: “Rather than rely on the judgment of medical professionals and evidence-based treatment guidelines, Arkansas has inserted itself within one of the most confidential and personal of relationships: the physician-patient relationship.” Link: https://t.co/Rl1YYp0rXj pic.twitter.com/UstmZU2e8R— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) June 17, 2021
The first decision came from U.S. District Judge James Moody, who temporarily halted the Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act, a law out of Arkansas which restricts so-called gender affirming treatments for those who seek chemical or surgical procedures if they are under 18.
Our clients Dylan, Brooke, Sabrina and Parker know who they are. Trans youth shouldn’t have to fight this hard to access live-saving care.— ACLU (@ACLU) July 21, 2021
We will continue to fight alongside trans youth, their parents, and their doctors to permanently end this ban.
BREAKING: Arkansas’s trans health ban has been BLOCKED by the court. We won’t rest until this cruel and unconstitutional law has been struck down for good. #Arnews pic.twitter.com/kNXsWvD9Pw— ACLU of Arkansas (@ArkansasACLU) July 21, 2021
The state legislature overrode a veto from Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) in April, allowing the bill to become law. It was supposed to go into effect on July 28.
Tony Perkins of Family Research Council released a statement condemning the decision:
"We are disappointed but not surprised that a judge has placed a temporary hold on the Arkansas law that protects children from unscientific, experimental, and destructive gender transition procedures. However, we are confident that ultimately state lawmakers will remain free to protect the health and safety of children.
"The legal challenge to this law is being mounted by a political movement that advocates for using off-label drugs and experimental procedures on minors. Yet a growing number of individuals are coming forward to share their stories of being permanently disfigured and/or sterilized from procedures such as puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones, and irreversible surgeries. The truth about the dangers of these life altering procedures cannot be ignored."
Jon Schweppe, the director of policy and government affairs at American Principles Project, provided a statement to Townhall about the decision. "This is a disappointing setback," he said, "but we believe justice will ultimately prevail in the court system. It is laughable to suggest that protecting children from permanent sterilization and other harms is “unconstitutional.” States should continue to pass legislation to push back against radical gender ideology."
The state's Republican Attorney General, Leslie Rutledge in a statement vowed to appeal:
"This evidence based law was created because we cannot allow children as young as 9 years old to receive experimental procedures that have irreversible, physical consequences. I will aggressively defend Arkansas’s law which strongly limits permanent, life-altering sex changes to adolescents. I will not sit idly by while radical groups such as the ACLU use our children as pawns for their own social agenda. As the Attorney General of Arkansas, I will be appealing today’s decision."
Hours later, ACLU celebrated a decision to do with a law out of West Virginia, which prevents biological men from competing in women's sports. Judge Joseph R. Goodwin granted a preliminary injunction, preventing the law from being enforced while the suit continues. The plaintiff in the case is Becky Pepper-Jackson, an 11-year trans girl who must now be allowed to try out girls’ cross-country team.
This is the third federal court that has said banning trans youth from sports is against the law — and the third court in the past month that has blocked an anti-trans law from going into effect in response to our lawsuits.— ACLU (@ACLU) July 21, 2021
Our work with @ACLU_WV, @LambdaLegal, and @CooleyLLP is not yet done. We will fight with Becky and all trans youth as this case continues.— ACLU (@ACLU) July 21, 2021
Becky is an amazing kid who deserves the same opportunities as every girl her age. And Becky has a lot of people in her corner in this battle, including @LambdaLegal @aclu and @cooleyLLP. And the support of so many West Virginians!— ACLU of WV (@ACLU_WV) July 21, 2021
Judge Goodwin noted in his decision that the law likely violates the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX.
Such a claim is sadly an ironic one, as it is because of Title IX that young women have had the ability and protection to compete in women's sports.