US Supreme Court agrees to review challenge to Tennessee’s ban on ‘gender transitioning’ for children – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) — The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to add to its docket for next year a case challenging Tennessee’s law protecting minors from receiving so-called “gender-affirming care,” including surgeries and puberty blocking or cross-sex hormone drugs for children under age 18.   

The measure, which had sailed through the Tennessee House in a sweeping 77-16 vote, was signed into law by Gov. Bill Lee in 2023.   

 It states explicitly that “A healthcare provider shall not knowingly perform or offer to perform on a minor, or administer or offer to administer to a minor, a medical procedure if the performance or administration of the procedure is for the purpose of: (A) Enabling a minor to identify with, or live as, a purported identity inconsistent with the minor’s sex; or (B) Treating purported discomfort or distress from a discordance between the minor’s sex and asserted identity.” 

 “Children do not need these medical procedures to be able to flourish as adults,” Republican House Majority Leader William Lamberth declared when he introduced the bill in 2022. “They need mental health treatment. They need love and support, and many of them need to be able to grow up to become the individuals that they were intended to be.”  

A few Volunteer state families have stepped forward to challenge the law, asserting in their court filing that “legal uncertainty” concerning the availability of transgender medical treatments for minors “is creating chaos across the country for adolescents, families and doctors.” 

 According to ScotusBlog’s Amy Howe:  

 The challengers in the Tennessee case are a 16-year-old transgender girl, who has received puberty blockers and estrogen therapy, a 13-year-old transgender boy who has received puberty blockers, and a 16-year-old transgender boy who has received puberty blockers and testosterone therapy. The youths, along with their parents and a doctor who treats transgender patients, filed a lawsuit against Tennessee officials in federal court, seeking to bar the state from enforcing the ban on puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and gender-transition surgeries.  

The Biden administration has joined the case in support of the plaintiffs on the grounds that the case is of general public importance.  

After U.S. District Judge Eli Richardson ruled in June 2023 to put Tennessee’s ban on hold, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit reversed his ruling and reinstated Tennessee’s ban last fall.  

 Chief Judge Jeffrey Sutton explained in his opinion that “it is difficult for anyone to be sure about predicting the long-term consequences of abandoning age limits of any sort for” gender-affirming care and cautioned that “life-tenured judges construing a difficult-to-amend Constitution should be humble and careful about announcing new substantive” constitutional rights that “limit accountable elected officials from sorting out these medical, social, and policy challenges,” according to’s reporting.  

Impetus for Tennessee’s law goes back to the dogged activism of Catholic Daily Wire podcaster and Tennessee resident Matt Walsh, whose exposé of Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center revealed that the institution was mutilating minors with “gender transitions,” something its leaders reportedly viewed as a “huge money maker.”  

Republican lawmakers demanded answers from Vanderbilt after Walsh’s bombshell report, leading to the institution’s October 2022 decision to “pause” its so-called “gender affirming” procedures for minors.    

After Walsh’s investigation, Gov. Lee spoke out against the transgender mutilation of children, declaring, “We should not allow permanent, life-altering decisions that hurt children. With the partnership of the General Assembly, this practice should end in Tennessee.”  

Tennessee was the ninth state to implement protections for children from the transgender abuse that takes the form of cutting off healthy body parts or preventing the natural development of the body through hormone drugs.

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