(CBrief) – A federal judge on Friday ruled that the state of Kentucky can continue to enforce a recently passed law that backers say is aimed at protecting children.
U.S. District Judge David Hale, an Obama appointee, sided with the state and will allow officials to “prohibit the use of puberty blockers and hormone treatments for minors after ruling in June that the state law likely violated the U.S. Constitution,” The Daily Caller reported.
Also, according to Reuters, the ruling was prompted by a federal appeals court’s decision to reinstate a comparable ban in Tennessee, as the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals scheduled joint hearings for both states’ cases.
“Today’s ruling is a win for parents and children,” Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican, said in a press release. “I’m grateful to the district court for doing what the law requires, which is protecting Kentucky kids from the irreversible harms that these experimental drug treatments would cause.”
According to Reuters, families of transgender children filed lawsuits challenging the state laws in Kentucky and Tennessee that prohibit sex change procedures for minors. They argued that these laws infringe upon parental rights. In response to these lawsuits, federal judges issued injunctions on June 28, blocking both laws from being enforced.
“While we strongly disagree with this opinion, it is only in effect while our appeal is pending in front of the Sixth Circuit,” said Corey Shapiro, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, in a press release. “It is not the final word, and we remain optimistic that with a full briefing we will achieve a positive result.”
The Daily Caller notes further: “Similar laws are being challenged in courts across the country; in Arkansas, an Obama-appointed judge blocked a state law that banned sex change procedures for children including surgeries, puberty blockers and hormones. On Thursday, five families, three doctors and two LGBT activist organizations filed a lawsuit against a Texas law which prohibits similar procedures for children.”
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders vowed to fight the ruling against the measure she signed into law earlier this summer.
In citing U.S. District Judge James M. Moody Jr.’s ruling, the freshman GOP governor and former Trump White House press secretary slammed him for “pushing a political agenda at the expense of our kids” after he blocked the Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act from taking effect.
“Rather than protecting children or safeguarding medical ethics, the evidence showed that the prohibited medical care improves the mental health and well-being of patients and that, by prohibiting it, the state undermined the interests it claims to be advancing,” he wrote in his ruling.
But Sanders and other state Republican officials pushed back, claiming that the judge’s decision was political, not science- or healthcare-based.
“This is not ‘care’– it’s activists pushing a political agenda at the expense of our kids and subjecting them to permanent and harmful procedures,” Sanders said. “Only in the far-Left’s woke vision of America is it not appropriate to protect children.”
She added: “We will fight this and the Attorney General plans to appeal Judge Moody’s decision to the Eighth Circuit.”
Arkansas AG Tim Griffin noted as well: “I am disappointed in the decision that prevents our state from protecting our children against dangerous medical experimentation under the moniker of ‘gender transition.’ Unfortunately, Judge Moody misses what is widely understood across the United States and in the United Kingdom and European countries: There is no scientific evidence that any child will benefit from these procedures, while the consequences are harmful and often permanent. I will continue fighting as long as it takes to stop providers from sterilizing children.”
The state plans to appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court, where 10 of the 11 judges were appointed by Republican presidents. Moody is the only one appointed by a Democrat.