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The Blaze
The Blaze
8 Jul 2023
Michele Blood

NextImg:'Big win': Tennessee's ban on transgender surgery for kids goes into effect immediately, federal appeals court rules

Tennessee can implement its ban on transgender surgery and related medical interventions for minors as a case challenging the law works its way through the court, a divided federal appeals court panel ruled Saturday.

"I am thankful to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals for confirming what Tennesseans already know: Children cannot give consent to experimental medical procedures or drugs that destroy their healthy bodies," Tennessee's 44th House District Representative William Lamberth (R) wrote on Twitter Saturday.

"While this decision is very encouraging, it is only one battle won in a war waged by the left to groom and harm a generation of innocent children. We will continue this fight to protect children all the way to the @SCOTUS if that is what it takes. Great job @AGTennessee and team."

The Tennessee law now in effect, at least temporarily, prohibits surgical procedures and administration of hormones or puberty blockers for the purpose of gender transition, as Reason explains.

"Both sides have the same fear, just in opposite directions — one saying the procedures create health risks that cannot be undone, the other saying the absence of such procedures creates risks that cannot be undone. What makes it bearable to choose between the two sides is the realization that not every choice is for judges to make," Chief Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote.

"Life-tenured federal judges should be wary of removing a vexing and novel
topic of medical debate from the ebbs and flows of democracy by construing a largely unamendable federal constitution to occupy the field," Judge Sutton also wrote.

Judge Thapar joined Sutton, concluding that the lower court had wrongly stopped the law's implementation. Judge White delivered a separate opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.

"Big win for Tennessee families last night in the 6th Circuit! The Court has now placed our law against gender affirming treatments for children back into effect!" wrote Tennessee Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R) Saturday morning.

The ban, originally set to take effect July 1, will now take effect immediately. The ban was held up when a lower court sided with the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee. ACLU-TN argued that the law interfered with parental rights and was unconstitutional, as The Hill reported.

This is the first federal court to allow such a ban, with other courts unanimously blocking similar bans in Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Indiana, and Kentucky, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee.

ACLU-TN brought the suit on behalf of Samantha and Brian Williams of Nashville and their 15-year-old daughter, as well as two other anonymous families and Dr. Susan N. Lac.

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