Can states’ bans on transgender care hold up in court? We break down the arguments

Nearly half of the 20 U.S. states that restrict gender-affirming hormone therapy are currently being questioned in federal court, with the primary issue being whether these bans violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The big question: The central issue of these lawsuits is whether bans on gender-affirming care violate the Fourteenth Amendment, which states that people cannot be denied liberty without due process or equal protection under the law.
* Abigail Moncrieff of Cleveland State University says this is a new issue as gender-affirming care has never been legally contested before.

State of play: Opinions on these cases are divided into two camps so far.
* The first camp, consisting of multiple district courts, argues that parents probably have a right to give their children gender-affirming hormone therapy, seeing it as effective and safe.
* The second camp, represented by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, argues that bans on gender-affirming care likely do not violate the Fourteenth Amendment, cautioning courts against creating new constitutional rights that restrict state experimentation with legislative approaches.

What they’re saying: Some suggest that the U.S. Supreme Court will be required to make the final decision on the constitutionality of these bans.
* This is spurred by possible inconsistencies in the decisions of the appeals courts and a potential evolution in the interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

Between the lines: The outcome of these ongoing lawsuits carries significant weight for transgender children and their families, highlighting the stakes involved in judicial interpretations of the Fourteenth Amendment’s clauses.

View original article on NPR

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