SCOTUS poised to weigh in on “gender-affirming care” 

June 25, 2024

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is set to take up the controversial case concerning the constitutionality of “gender-affirming care” in the next term.  

Under the leadership of Governor Bill Lee, Tennessee’s conservative legislature passed SB 1—a bill imposing various civil penalties on physicians practicing “gender-affirming care” on minors. Notably, SB 1 provides that parents have a private right of action and extends the statute of limitations to thirty years after the minor reaches legal status.  

Before the bill took effect on July 1, 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed suit and sought injunctive relief. The DOJ’s claim was brought under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, citing to standards by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health instead of judicial precedent.  

The Sixth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of SB 1, and the DOJ appealed the decision. Upon accepting the petition for a writ of certiorari, United States v. Skrmetti will now be heard before SCOTUS.  

If SCOTUS decides on the merits of the case instead of a legal technicality, then “gender-affirming care” could be in the crosshairs of the conservative court. The case will be heard this fall, and a decision is expected by next summer.  

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