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CINCINNATI, Ohio (LifeSiteNews) — Tennessee is likely to succeed in defending in court the state’s prohibitions on minors receiving transgender drugs and surgeries, a three-judge panel of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Saturday.

Chief Judge Jeffrey Sutton, joined by Judge Amul Thapar, ruled against a preliminary injunction to halt enforcement of Tennessee’s law, which was set to go into effect on July 1.

Sutton wrote that the state is likely to win on the merits of the case, and he argued that federal judges should not insert themselves into the debates about transgenderism and seek to impose a view on all 50 states.

Challengers to the law tried to argue that “the law likely violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses,” but Sutton ruled that “the challengers do not argue that the original fixed meaning of either the due process or equal protection guarantee covers these claims.”

He warned against judicial activism, writing:

That prompts the question whether the people of this country ever agreed to
remove debates of this sort—about the use of new drug treatments on minors—from the conventional place for dealing with new norms, new drugs, and new technologies: the democratic process. Life-tenured federal judges should be wary of removing a vexing and novel topic of medical debate from the ebbs and flows of democracy by construing a largely unamendable federal constitution to occupy the field.

The judge also wrote that the challengers did not have case law in their favor; instead, “they seek to extend the constitutional guarantees to new territory.”

“The burden of establishing an imperative for constitutionalizing new areas of American life is not—and should not be—a light one,” he ruled.

“Tennessee’s interests in applying the law to its residents and in being permitted to protect its children from health risks weigh heavily in favor of the State at this juncture,” he concluded.

Judge Helene White dissented in part, making the ruling 2-1.

President Joe Biden’s administration filed a lawsuit against the law as part of his broader push to normalize the chemical and surgical mutilation of children who struggle with gender dysphoria.

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Some federal judges have taken a more activist approach than the 6th Circuit, such as U.S. District Judge Jay Moody, who ruled against Arkansas’ law that protects children from surgical and chemical mutilation. The ongoing appeals of both Tennessee and Arkansas’ law, and the possibility that different circuit courts will reach opposing conclusions, increases the likelihood that the Supreme Court of the United States may eventually have to intervene.

“Still a long way to go but as I’ve said all along the butchers will ultimately lose this fight,” Walsh tweeted. The law at least partially came about due to the work of the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh in exposing Vanderbilt University Medical Center healthcare professionals for talking about making profits off the surgical removal of healthy body parts from gender-confused kids.

The nationwide push to make it easier for kids to have healthy body parts removed or be injected with hormones comes despite mounting evidence of the dangers of transgender drugs and surgeries. It is also an established biological fact and moral truth that it is not possible for someone to change their sex.

The dangers of transgender drugs and surgeries have drawn criticism from both credentialed American medical experts as well as European medical officials.

For example, Dr. Michael Laidlaw, an endocrinologist, warned that puberty blockers generally lead people to more hormones and surgeries, even though “[a majority of] children who experience gender dysphoria but are allowed to go through puberty normally,… do not persist in identifying with the opposite sex.” The claim that the effects of puberty blockers are reversible is creating an “urgent public health problem.” There could be bone, brain, and pelvic problems due to the delay in development, as LifeSiteNews previously reported.

A review of studies on transgender drugs and surgeries, conducted by the Florida Department of Health, concluded that there is “a lack of conclusive evidence” for “gender transitioning” and “the potential for long-term, irreversible effects,” and noted that systematic reviews on hormonal interventions “show a trend of low-quality evidence, small sample sizes, and medium to high risk of bias.” 

READ: Michigan House passes ‘hate speech’ bill criminalizing criticism of transgender ideology