Twenty states have put into place bans or severe restrictions on transition-related medical care for minors, but measures in at least five of those states have now been permanently or temporarily blocked from taking effect.
To discuss the legal challenges around these laws and where they go next, we’re joined by Danielle Weatherby, a law professor at the University of Arkansas who focuses on LGBTQ legal issues.
Professor Weatherby thank you so much for joining.
Arkansas was the first state to ban gender-affirming medical care for minors. But, this week, a federal judge ruled that ban unconstitutional, making it the first ever ruling to overturn such a prohibition.
Can you explain the judge’s determination in this case?
Danielle Weatherby, Professor of Law, University of Arkansas: Absolutely. Thank you for having me.
His determination was that Act 626 was unconstitutional for three reasons. First, he said that the act violated the Equal Protection Clause, to the extent that it discriminated on the basis of sex. Second, he said that it usurped the parental right to make well-informed medical determinations on behalf of their minor children.
And this is a right that is implicated by the substantive due process clause. And then, finally, he said that this act violated physicians, treating physicians’ First Amendment rights, insofar as it prohibited them from consulting with their patients about the gender-affirming care.