Federal Judge Strikes Down Portions of Florida Trans Law

(RightWing.org) – Florida lawmakers, under the leadership of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, have taken a proactive approach regarding the protection of the state’s underaged residents from radical, oft-times experimental gender-affirming medical care.

However, equally controversial judges have done their best to legislate from the bench and undermine those efforts, as evidenced by a recent ruling handed down by a Clinton nominee, US District Judge Robert Lewis Hinkle. He serves as a senior judge for the Northern District of Florida.

Clinton Nominated Judge Strikes Down Florida Law Protecting Children

On June 11, Hinkle issued an order on the merits striking down portions of a Florida law (SB 254, Treatments for Sex Reassignment) banning medical care for transgender adolescents and restricting it for trans adults. His finding marks the first time a federal judge has struck down a trans law involving adults.

Hinkle struck down the section of Florida’s new law banning treatments for transgender children. Likewise, he invalidated the portion of the law restricting transition care for adults to physicians, paving the way for physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other medical practitioners to provide those services.

The 105-page ruling in Doe v. Lapado determined that legislators were motivated by their disapproval of transgender individuals when they approved that statute. Hinkle also found the resulting Florida Boards of Medicine rules were similarly adopted.

The judge’s written order readily conceded that transgender opponents were “free to hold their beliefs. [However], they are not free to discriminate against… individuals just for being transgender.” Stunningly, Hinkle equated the 2023 law with other radical forms of bigotry, writing that “discrimination against transgender [people] will diminish, just as racism and misogyny have [waned].”

Hinkle also wrote that “gender identity is real,” adding that a “widely accepted standard of care” includes hormone treatments and puberty blockers — medical treatments banned by SB 254. He ruled that Florida could regulate medical procedures “as needed” but couldn’t “flatly deny” transgender people “safe and effective medical treatment… provided to others… so long as the purpose is not to support” a patient’s gender identity.

Florida Governor’s Office Responds to Ruling

DeSantis spokesperson Jeremy Redfern sent a statement to media outlets responding to the court’s ruling. He accused Hinkle of overriding the will of Floridians, as conveyed through their lawfully elected representatives.

“We disagree with the Court’s erroneous ruling on the law…facts… and… science,” Redfern wrote. He stressed that there was no “quality evidence” supporting the practice of mutilating children through “chemical and physical” treatments. Those medical procedures cause “permanent, life-altering damage to children,” Redfern explained, adding that history would look back on those radical procedures “in horror.”

Redfern also confirmed that state officials would appeal the ruling.

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