Texas Supreme Court rules in favor of transgender parents

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Texas Supreme Court rules in favor of transgender parents

The Texas Supreme Court has issued a multi-part ruling on investigations into transgender care for minors that has both sides claimed victory.

The court snuck into the family of a transgender minor, but strikes down a statewide injunction that blocks investigations into the parents of other transgender youths. The court also ruled that Gov. Greg Abbott does not have authority over such investigations.

In February, Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, the state's child welfare agency, to investigate child abuse claims against parents who might be providing their transgender children with gender-affirming medical care.

One of the agency's first investigations was into one of its employees, who has a transgender child.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal sued on behalf of the employee, referred to as Jane Doe and Megan Mooney, a psychologist who treats transgender youths. In March a federal judge upheld a statewide injunction preventing all investigations under Abbott's orders.

Attorney General Ken Paxton appealed, and the Texas Supreme Court struck down the statewide injunction Friday. It upheld part of the injunction - only blocking the investigation into Doe's family, even though the state had opened a total of nine investigations.

Initial reports of the Texas Supreme Court ruling have said that the other investigations can resume, but the ruling didn't state that explicitly. Justice Jimmy Blacklock wrote in the opinion that Abbott and Paxton don't have the authority to direct the child protective services agency to investigate the parents of transgender youth.

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, he wrote. The Legislature has granted the DFPS the right to make a prompt and thorough investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect, not to the Governor or Attorney General. Both sides claimed the ruling was a victory.

The decision is a win for our clients and the rule of law, according to the ACLU, the ACLU of Texas and Lambda Legal. According to a press release, the court rejected the attorney general's arguments that our lawsuit should be dismissed and affirmed that DFPS is not required to follow the governor's directive or the attorney general's non-binding opinion.

Just secured a win for families against the gender ideology of doctors, big pharma, clinics trying to trans confused, innocent children, he wrote in a tweet Friday. He said that the Supreme Court of Texas had frozen investigations that lower courts with judges appointed by Democrats.

The Supreme Court's decision could affect other investigations if they resume, even though the statewide injunction is no longer in place.

Karen Loewy, senior counsel for Lambda Legal, said the state's Supreme Court supported the finding that the state's investigation into the Doe family would cause irreparable harm.

By crediting that irreparable harm finding, it basically means that every time the agency goes to investigate a family based solely on the fact that they are providing the medically recognized, provider-recommended course of care for their children, that the same irreparable harm happens, Loewy said. If this policy is unlawful as to our clients, it is unlawful as to every other Texas family that DFPS might try and target. One family currently under investigation is bracing for what could happen next. Amber Briggle, whose 13-year-old son is transgender, reacted to the decision of the court on Twitter.

She said the injunction protected the family from further investigation. CPS can knock on my door once again after that has been overturned.