Late last night, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction that blocks enforcement of our law protecting minor children from irreversible sex change drugs and surgeries.
The Vulnerable Child Protection Act (House Bill 71) – which was drafted by Idaho Family Policy Center and sponsored by Rep. Bruce Skaug (R-Nampa) and Sen. Lori Den Hartog (R-Meridian) – had been scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2024.
According to US District Judge Lynn Winmill, our new law unconstitutionally infringes on the “deeply rooted” fundamental right of parents to “choose a particular medical treatment, in consultation with their healthcare provider, that is generally available and accepted in the medical community.”
Winmill also said the law unconstitutionally “discriminates on the basis of transgender status,” even though the law doesn’t even use the word ‘transgender’ but instead simply regulates dangerous pharmaceutical and surgical interventions.
“After carefully considering the voluminous [medical evidence], the Court finds that the treatment for gender dysphoria—[w]hich may include medical interventions such as puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and surgeries—is safe, effective, and medically necessary for some adolescents,” Winmill wrote in his decision.
We’re disappointed that Winmill took the extraordinary and drastic action of striking down a duly enacted and widely popular law, but I can’t say we’re surprised. It’s worth remembering that Winmill, who was appointed to the federal judiciary by President Bill Clinton, has become notorious for his long record of naked judicial activism.
But here’s the good news: This fight is far from over. Winmill’s activist ruling will be appealed, and we’re confident that when all is said and done, the Vulnerable Child Protection Act will be vindicated in the courts.
And keep in mind that other federal courts—including the US Courts of Appeals for the Sixth and Eleventh Circuits—have ruled that similar laws protecting gender-confused children are constitutionally sound, teeing up a likely showdown at the US Supreme Court.
We’ll keep you updated as this case progresses. In the meantime, I promise that my team at Idaho Family Policy Center will keep fighting the good fight!