The Texas Supreme Court said in a ruling released Friday that state officials can investigate so-called “gender transition treatments” for children as child abuse, but that they are not required to do so.
On Twitter, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, celebrated the ruling.
“Just secured a win for families against the gender ideology of doctors, big pharma, clinics trying to “trans” confused, innocent children. SCOTX green-lighted investigations that lower Dem courts froze,” he wrote.
Just secured a win for families against the gender ideology of doctors, big pharma, clinics trying to “trans” confused, innocent children. SCOTX green-lighted investigations that lower Dem courts froze
“Transing” kids through surgery/drugs is abuse & I’ll do all I can to stop it
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) May 13, 2022
The ruling comes nearly three months after Republican Gov. Greg Abbott wrote a letter to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services that said: “The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has now confirmed in the enclosed opinion that a number of so-called ‘sex change’ procedures constitute child abuse under existing Texas law.”
Treatments covered under Abbott’s directive included hormones and drugs that suppress puberty, The New York Times reported.
The parents of a 16-year-old who identifies as transgender brought a challenge against the law, with legal assistance from Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union.
“In March, a district judge, Amy Clark Meachum in Travis County, ordered all such investigations to stop, pending a trial.,” The Times reported.
“She found that the governor’s order had been improperly adopted and violated the State Constitution. An appeals court allowed the district judge’s temporary injunction to remain in force.”
Abbott and Paxton then appealed to the state Supreme Court, which handed them a partial victory.
The state Supreme Court’s ruling restricts the state from investigating the family that challenged Abbott’s directive, and said he did not have the legal authority to issue it, according to CNN.
“Neither the governor nor the attorney general has statutory authority to directly control DFPS’s investigatory decisions,” the ruling read.
However, the ruling also said the DFPS can still investigate gender transition procedures for minors as child abuse.
“The justices ruled that an appeals court had ‘abused its discretion’ in issuing a statewide order against such investigations at this point in the legal process,” The Times said.
In summing up the ruling, The Daily Wire said it was mixed bag for conservative state officials.
“The big picture is that Texas DFPS can still investigate these cases, but they are no longer mandated to do so,” the outlet said.