The Texas Supreme Court ruled that investigations can resume into parents seeking gender-affirming care for their transgender kids.
In February, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered state agencies to investigate parents and doctors who approve and provide gender-affirming medical treatments.
The development lifts an earlier injunction against Abbott’s controversial order.
As NPR reports:
The ruling overturns a lower court’s injunction from March 11, barring state officials from pursuing Abbott’s Feb. 22. directive that instructed the Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate “any reported instances” of a range of treatments and procedures, including the administration of hormones and puberty-blocking drugs.
The parents of a transgender teen sued to stop the investigations, and in early March, District Judge Amy Clark Meachum issued a temporary order halting an investigation into the parents of the 16-year-old girl. Meachum later issued another order at the statewide level, temporarily blocking all such investigations stemming from Abbott’s directive.
A Texas appeals court later upheld that injunction, but today’s action by the state’s highest court has lifted Meachum’s statewide order.
Though today’s ruling was unanimous, the high court raised questions about what prompted the investigations, given that Texas’ Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) isn’t bound to the governor or attorney general’s commands.
“The Governor and the Attorney General were certainly well within their rights to state their legal and policy views on this topic, but DFPS was not compelled by law to follow them,” the ruling read.
The Texas Tribune adds:
DFPS employees have told The Texas Tribune that agency leadership has acknowledged that these investigations do not meet the current requirements for child abuse and have said policy would need to be generated to match the governor’s directives.