Texas Supreme Court allows state to conduct gender transition child abuse investigations

The Texas Supreme Court lifted the stay on state child abuse investigations when minors undergo gender transition treatment.

At the same time, the ruling was not a complete victory for Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton, who pushed for the investigations, as the court ruled they did not have the authority to order such action.

The state supreme court also upheld the lower court’s temporary injunction on a child abuse investigation of the parents of a 16-year-old who sued the state after the Department of Family and Protective Services opened an investigation into the family.

“The governor and attorney general were certainly within their rights to express their legal and political views on this issue, but DFPS was not required by law to follow them,” said Friday’s ruling. “However, the DFPS press release suggests that DFPS may have considered itself bound by the Governor’s letter, the Attorney General’s Opinion, or both. Again, nothing before this Court supports the notion that DFPS is obligated.”

The American Civil Liberties Union and LGBTQ advocates at Lambda Legal hailed the decision as “a victory for our clients and the rule of law.”

“The Texas Supreme Court made clear that the attorney general and governor do not have the authority to order DFPS to take action against families who support their children by providing them with the highest standards of health care,” the groups said in a statement. set. .

At the same time, the groups said it would be “inconceivable for DFPS to continue these illegal investigations while this lawsuit continues.”

Mr. Paxton framed the ruling as a victory for those who care about the well-being of children receiving medical treatment for gender transition.

“I just secured a victory for families against the gender ideology of doctors, big pharma, clinics trying to ‘trans’ confuse innocent children. SCOTX greenlit investigations that froze lower Democratic courts,” Republican Paxton tweeted. “Transferring children through surgery/drugs is abuse and I will do everything I can to stop it.”

“Although the court limited its order to the Doe family and Dr. Mooney, it reaffirmed that Texas law has not changed and that no mandated reporter or DFPS employee is required to take any action based on the Governor’s directive and the opinion of the attorney general,” said the ACLU and Lambda legal statement.

Mr. Abbott, a Republican, ordered the agency in February to investigate “any reported instances of these abusive procedures,” referring to gender transition drugs and surgical procedures for those under 18.

His directive came after Mr. Paxton issued a nonbinding legal opinion that said such treatment “may constitute child abuse when performed on minor children” under Texas law.

The agency reportedly opened nine investigations in response to the governor’s directive.

The lawsuit was filed earlier this year by the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal on behalf of the parents of a transgender teenager, all anonymous, and a doctor, who said the order violates state law because the governor exceeded his authority in issuing the directive

The lawsuit argued that the Legislature had not passed such legislation.

• This article was based in part on reports from cable services.

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