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Justice Neil GorsuchErin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — The U.S. Supreme Court issued an order Monday permitting Idaho to continue enforcing its law against “gender transitioning” minors, ruling that a lower court’s stay on enforcement should only apply to the specific parties of the lawsuit until the case is ultimately resolved.

Last April, Republican Gov. Brad Little signed the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, which prohibits any medical professional from “performing surgeries that sterilize or mutilate, or artificially construct tissue with the appearance of genitalia that differs from the child’s biological sex” or “administering or supplying” children with “puberty-blocking medication to stop or delay normal puberty,” “supraphysiological doses of testosterone to a female,” and “supraphysiological doses of estrogen to a male.” 

The law was slated to take effect in January, but the state chapter of the far-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued and Clinton-appointed U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill issued a temporary block near the end of December, claiming it violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, comparing bans on mutilating children to the practice of human slavery that the Fourteenth Amendment (along with the other Civil War amendments) was enacted to end. 

In February, Republican Attorney General Raúl Labrador announced that his office filed an emergency motion with the nation’s highest court, asking it to narrow the scope of the temporary block to the specific families represented by the ACLU and allow the law to be enforced in all other cases: “Although the activists have only challenged certain parts of Idaho’s commonsense law, the lower court stopped Idaho from enforcing its entire law statewide, prohibiting the state from even protecting children under age five from drugs and surgeries that disfigure their bodies and stop their natural development.”

On Monday, the nation’s highest court granted Labrador’s request, with Justice Neil Gorsuch writing that the lower ruling had “purported to bar the enforcement of ‘any provision’ of the law against anyone” despite the fact that “by its own admission, the plaintiffs had failed to ‘engage’ with other provisions of Idaho’s law that don’t presently affect them.” 

“As in so many other recent cases, the district court’s universal injunction effectively transformed a limited dispute between a small number of parties focused on one feature of a law into a far more consequential referendum on the law’s every provision as applied to anyone,” he added. “Today, the Court takes a significant step toward addressing the problem.”

“I’ve witnessed firsthand the devastating consequences of drugs and procedures used on children with gender dysphoria. And it’s a preventable tragedy,” Labrador said in reaction to the order. “The state has a duty to protect and support all children, and that’s why I’m proud to defend Idaho’s law that ensures children are not subjected to these life-altering drugs and procedures. Those suffering from gender dysphoria deserve love, support, and medical care rooted in biological reality. Denying the basic truth that boys and girls are biologically different hurts our kids. No one has the right to harm children, and I’m grateful that we, as the state, have the power — and duty — to protect them.”

A significant body of evidence shows that “affirming” gender confusion carries serious harms, especially when done with impressionable children who lack the mental development, emotional maturity, and life experience to consider the long-term ramifications of the decisions being pushed on them. Studies find that more than 80% of children experiencing gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence, whereas reinforcing dysphoria often fails to resolve may even exacerbate mental strife by perpetuating delusion and neglecting the actual root causes.

Idaho has also previously worked to stop transgender pronoun mandates in schools, males competing in women’s sports, male students using female restrooms, and children’s access to sexually-explicit material in libraries.