On Wednesday, the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against the state of Tennessee, over one of the state’s new laws banning the practice of genital mutilation surgery for minors.
According to Axios, the Tennessee law, known as SB 1, is set to take effect on July 1st. The DOJ is arguing that the law is unconstitutional due to allegedly violating the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The law, should it go into effect, declares that a health provider is not allowed to “perform or offer to perform” such surgeries, which usually serve the purpose of indulging so-called “transgender” children’s beliefs that they are somehow of the opposite gender. Any healthcare provider that does so would be eligible for legal action by the minor or their guardians, as well as the state attorney general.
Siding with the DOJ’s lawsuit, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Henry Leventis claimed in a statement that the new law “violates the constitutional rights of some of Tennessee’s most vulnerable” citizens.
“Left unchallenged, it would prohibit transgender children from receiving health care that their medical providers and their parents have determined to be medically necessary,” Leventis continued.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, representing the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, claimed in her own statement that access to genital mutilation surgeries and other such transgender treatments “is a right that everyone should have.” Clarke also claimed that such treatments are necessary for “transgender children, who are especially vulnerable to serious risks of depression, anxiety and suicide,” even though studies have overwhelmingly shown that even after undergoing surgeries, the rates of depression and suicide remain virtually the same.
Governor Bill Lee (R-Tenn.), who signed the bill into law last month, defended the legislation and criticized the Biden DOJ for what he called “federal overreach at its worst.”
“We will work with Attorney General Skrmetti to push back in court and stand up for children,” Governor Lee added. Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said in his own statement that “the federal government has joined the ACLU and an elite New York law firm in attacking a bipartisan law that protects children from irreversible harm. I welcome the opportunity to litigate these issues and vigorously defend Tennessee’s law.”
Tennessee has passed numerous laws cracking down on the ideology of transgenderism, the scientifically-debunked notion that there are more than two genders, and that anyone can change their gender at any time. Transgenderism has faced a renewed backlash after the Covenant School shooting, where a 28-year-old woman who believed she was a man carried out a massacre at a Presbyterian school in Nashville, killing six – including three 9-year-old children.
The backlash led to a counter-reaction by the trans lobby, which culminated in a mob of pro-trans activists storming the Tennessee State Capitol less than a week after the shooting. Subsequently, two of the three Democratic lawmakers who joined the rioters and aided several of them in entering the state house chamber were expelled from the legislature.