A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that it will not reconsider its temporary blocking Arkansas of enforcing its ban regarding gender-affirming child care.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request of the state for the full court’s review of its appeal of the temporary injunction against Arkansas’ law. In August, a three-judge panel of judges upheld the injunction against ban.
The landmark case to decide whether the ban should be struck down began last month before the same judge and will resume on Nov. 28.
Arkansas law prohibits doctors from giving gender-affirming hormone treatments, puberty blocking drugs or surgery to patients under 18. This law would also prevent doctors from referring patients to other providers for this type of care.
Arkansas was the first state in America to pass such a ban. This has been heavily criticized by medical organizations.
“Families throughout Arkansas are grateful the 8th Circuit rejected the state’s attempt to enforce this baseless, cruel law,” Holly Dickson, executive director of American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas said. She is challenging the law in support of four transgender children, their families, and their parents. “Arkansas should provide safe and secure environments for all children, transgender and not just those who are able to afford life-saving medical care.
The ban was passed by Republican legislators last year and overruled the Governor of the GOP. Asa Hutchinson vetoed the legislation. Hutchinson had previously signed other restrictions regarding transgender youths into laws. He said that the prohibition was too extreme by cutting off care for those who are currently receiving it.
Wednesday’s decision showed a divided court with three out of 11 appeals court judges voting against the request by the state and five supporting it. Two of the two judges who didn’t participate were part of the August panel that ruled against the state unanimously.
The state argues that the prohibition falls within its jurisdiction to regulate the medical profession. Opponents of such treatment for children claim they are too young and cannot make decisions about their future.
Multiple medical organizations, including the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), oppose the bans. Experts say that the treatments are safe when properly administered.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s Office stated that its request was denied due to procedural reasons. The state can appeal Wednesday’s decision once the trial in Arkansas over the ban on Arkansas cigarettes is concluded.
Amanda Priest spokeswoman said that Arkansasans can be assured that Attorney General Rutledge will defend the ban because it protects children against these life-altering procedures.
Alabama Federal Judge has blocked a similar ban.