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Constitutional Rights & the Public’s Health

Dylan Brandt et al. v. Leslie Rutledge et al.

Overview

Dylan Brandt et al. v. Leslie Rutledge et al. (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Aug. 25, 2022): In an Equal Protection-based sex discrimination challenge, the Eighth Circuit upheld a ruling preliminarily blocking an Arkansas law which banned certain health care procedures for transgender minors. Transgender youths, their parents, and doctors challenged the state law, arguing that it inhibited minors from accessing medical care as prescribed. The Eighth Circuit found that the law constituted unlawful sex discrimination because it specifically prohibited medical care access on the basis of sex determined at birth. Arkansas justified the law as protecting against “experimental” treatment and regulating medical ethics, but the court reasoned that these interests do not outweigh the law’s discriminatory effect. The court also found sufficient evidence demonstrating that gender-affirming treatment is not experimental and conforms with recognized standards of care. Read the full decision here.

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