Transgender Youth Medical Ban in Tennessee Faces Supreme Court Scrutiny

Jun 24, 2024 at 02:03 pm by WGNS News

Photo from 2023 Gender Protest Rally in Murfreesboro, TN.


The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to hear a case against a 2023 Tennessee law that bans certain medical care for transgender youth. The case was brought by the United States, Tennessee families, and a medical provider. The court will hear arguments next fall.


In 2023, Representative Tim Rudd talked about the bill on WGNS, stating...

Chase Strangio, Deputy Director for Transgender Justice at the ACLU, emphasized that the future of many transgender youth depends on the Court upholding the Constitution and its own precedents. He stated, “These bans represent a dangerous and discriminatory affront to the well-being of transgender youth across the country and their Constitutional right to equal protection under the law.” He suggested the bans are part of a political attack on a marginalized group and assured transgender people and their families that the ACLU will vigorously defend their rights to access medical care.

Tara Borelli, Senior Counsel at Lambda Legal, stated that the Court has historically struck down discriminatory laws and should do the same in this case to prevent harm to transgender youth and their families caused by these bans on gender-affirming care. Borelli expressed gratitude that the case will be heard by the Supreme Court and emphasized their commitment to fighting for access to this essential medical care.

Lucas Cameron-Vaughn, staff attorney at the ACLU of Tennessee, stated that Tennesseans should be free to live as their true selves without government interference. He emphasized that the law harms transgender youth and their families daily and called on the Court to protect their right to necessary healthcare by striking down the discriminatory law. Cameron-Vaughn criticized politicians for creating divisions for political gain and stressed that for transgender youth and their families, this issue is about the fundamental right to access vital healthcare. He affirmed the ACLU's commitment to advocating for the rights of transgender youth to receive the care they need.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Tennessee, Lambda Legal, and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP asked the Court to review a September 2023 decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals allowing Tennessee’s ban to stay in effect. The United States intervened in the Plaintiffs’ case at the district court and also asked the Court to review the Sixth Circuit decision. The Tennessee law prohibits medical providers from treating transgender youth with evidence-based gender-affirming medical treatment and requires youth receiving gender-affirming care to end that care by March 31, 2024. 

Applying the Supreme Court’s 2020 ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County and other long-standing precedents, trial courts have blocked such bans in Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. In June 2023, a federal court in Arkansas struck down that state’s ban on gender-affirming care after a two-week trial in the first and only post-trial ruling on the constitutionality of such a law, finding it violated the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment as well as the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. 

  • The Supreme Court granted the Petition filed by the United States, which was a party in the Plaintiffs’ case. The United States’s granted petition can be found here
  • More on LW. v. Skrmetti can be found here.


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