The Justice Department says the Arkansas law targeting care for transgender children must fall. And it is challenging a West Virginia ban on transgender women participating in athletes.


The filing in Arkansas quotes statements by Governor Hutchinson and medical experts in opposition to the new law banning gender-affirming care to minors.

“Rather than rely on the judgment of medical professionals and evidence-based treatment guidelines, Arkansas has inserted itself within one of the most confidential and personal of relationships: the physician-patient relationship.”

As it was told repeatedly to legislators who didn’t want to hear about it (and arrested one parent ]for speaking beyond a two-minute limit not imposed on people who supported the law.)


Yes, this is the law Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is defending by citing one English court ruling but not another allowing such care with parental consent, which is the only way such care is available in Arkansas.

From the top of the filing:


The United States respectfully submits this Statement of interest to advise the Court of its view that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment bars the State of Arkansas from discriminating against transgender minors by enacting legislation that wholesale prohibits healthcare providers from providing them with certain categories of medically necessary care, or referring them to another provider for such care.

House Bill 1570 (H.B. 1570), passed into law on April 6, 2021 and enacted as Act 626, prohibits the provision of or referral for “gender transition procedures” for any individual under eighteen. Plaintiffs have filed a private action challenging the law on multiple grounds, including the Equal Protection Clause. The United States files this Statement of Interest in support of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction, as Act 626 cannot survive the heightened scrutiny to which it must be subjected and therefore would violate the Equal Protection Clause if allowed to go into effect. This case implicates important federal interests.

The United States is charged with protecting the civil rights of individuals seeking nondiscriminatory access to healthcare in a range of health programs and activities under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, 42 U.S.C. § 18116. The Department of Justice is further charged with the coordination and implementation of federal nondiscrimination laws that protect individuals against discrimination on the basis of sex in a wide range of federally-funded programs and activities, including, but not limited to, the provision of healthcare. The United States has a strong interest in protecting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. To that end, the President has issued an Executive Order that recognizes the right of all persons to “be treated with respect and dignity,” “to access healthcare … without being subjected to sex discrimination,” and to “receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.”

The United States also recently filed a Statement of lnterest regarding the inadequacy, under the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, of medical treatment for gender dysphoria that was provided to a transgender woman while in the custody of the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Act 626 specifically and discriminatorily denies transgender minors, and only transgender minors, the ability to receive medically necessary care based solely on their sex assigned at birth. Discriminating against transgender minors in this manner violates the Equal Protection Clause. Such discrimination would be justified only if Arkansas could show that it is substantially related to achieving an important governmental interest. Arkansas cannot make that showing. For this reason, the United States believes that Plaintiffs’ Equal Protection challenge to Act 626 is likely to succeed on the merits.

All are created equal in Joe Biden’s America. White Republican evangelicals in Arkansas are not created more equal.

Also of interest is the Justice Department intervention in the West Virginia case. Arkansas has a similar law, not yet under court challenge here.