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Judge blocks gender-affirming care ban, keeps other key components; AG ‘is appealing’

From WKRN: Democrats said it’s no surprise.   “It seems like the same record that just keeps scratching,” Sen. Charlane Oliver (D-Nashv

From WKRN: Democrats said it’s no surprise.


“It seems like the same record that just keeps scratching,” Sen. Charlane Oliver (D-Nashville) said. “We’ve been here before.”


Republicans said they’re confident an appeal will spur an overturn.


“Well, I’m not a legal scholar, but our attorneys do tell us that they feel very good about their ability to potentially overturn this on appeal,” Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) said.


Late Wednesday, a Trump-appointed federal judge temporarily blocked much of Tennessee’s gender-affirming care ban for minors.


The move keeps the ban on surgical procedures in place, but prevents a ban on hormone therapy and puberty blockers.


Though Democrats are celebrating the ruling, which is one of several unfolding around the country, Johnson pointed out the fact that while the judge did block the criminal penalty for doctors who prescribe hormone therapy and puberty blockers, it keeps in place the possibility for civil liability.


In essence, it allows people who received that type of care as a minor to press a lawsuit against a doctor up to 30 years after they turn 18.


“I’m hoping that the fact that that civil liability provision still remains that a doctor is going to think very long and hard before they prescribe these very harmful drugs to these kids, knowing they could face civil liability for 30-plus years,” Johnson said.


Still, Democrats lauded the ruling, even if it was only partial.


“People deserve to grow up how they want to grow up, and that is the decision made between a child, their parent and their doctor, not the government,” Oliver said.


Other Republicans, in addition to Johnson, criticized the judge, saying the law was rooted in fact.


“I know that there are some ultra-liberals out there that think somehow or another that cutting body parts off a child are going to help that child,” House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland) said. “Obviously, that’s crazy.”


The judge wrote that the bill may interfere with the rights of parents to decide the medical care of their children, something covered under the 14th Amendment.


“I just don’t think that has anything to do with this,” Lamberth said. “What we’re talking about in the state of Tennessee (is) are there prohibited medical procedures that we have found that are harmful to our children?”


Oliver, however, pushed back on that, saying the law was a clear attack on the LGBTQ+ community.


“You can’t be saying as a Republican, ‘We’re here to protect children,’ and then pass laws that discriminate against them,” Oliver said. “But in the same breath, you don’t want gun legislation to protect kids. It is hypocritical; it is wrong to infringe upon people’s First Amendment rights.”


The watered-down law is set to go into effect July 1.

State Capitol reporter Chris O’Brien reached out to the Attorney General’s office to check on next steps.


A spokesperson told him the office ‘is appealing’ the ruling.