Poe v. Labrador
(U.S. District Court for Idaho, December 26, 2023) The U.S. District Court for Idaho issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of an Idaho law that prohibits health care professionals from providing certain medical treatment to children with gender dysphoria while allowing the same treatment for children with other medical conditions. The Court considered whether the statute violates the 14 Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause by treating transgender children differently than other children and whether the statute violates the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause by interfering with the right of parents of transgender children to make medical decisions for their children. In issuing the injunction, the Court found that the statute failed on both issues. First, the statute discriminates on the basis of sex and transgender status, requiring a strict scrutiny analysis. Second, parents’ right to seek appropriate medical care for their children is protected by the Constitution, thereby requiring a strict scrutiny analysis of an interference with that right. The strict scrutiny test requires that there be a compelling government interest and that the state action be narrowly tailored to satisfy that interest. Based significantly on its finding that the prohibited care is medically accepted as safe, effective, and appropriate for children with gender dysphoria, the Court found the statute violates the rights of transgender children and their parents. The statute may not be enforced while the case proceeds to trial. Read the full Opinion here. On January 30, 2024, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order upholding the district court so that the stay will remain in place. Read the Order here.