Appeals Court Rules Against West Virginia and North Carolina’s Transgender Policies

On Monday, a federal appeals court ruled that laws in the states of West Virginia and North Carolina implementing restrictions on so-called “transgender care” are unconstitutional.

According to ABC News, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, based out of Richmond, Virginia, ruled in an 8-6 decision that the two states were not allowed to refuse to cover transgender care in their respective state health plans. North Carolina refused to let such treatment be covered by its state employee health plan, while West Virginia’s Medicaid similarly denied such coverage; the former banned and treatment or studies “leading to or in connection with sex changes or modifications and related care,” while the latter prohibited any coverage of “transsexual surgery.”

“The coverage exclusions facially discriminate on the basis of sex and gender identity, and are not substantially related to an important government interest,” wrote Judge Roger Gregory, a Clinton appointee, in the majority opinion.

While similar anti-trans laws are facing legal challenges all across the country, the ruling on Monday marks the first such decision by a federal Court of Appeals regarding government-sponsored healthcare’s refusal to cover such procedures. The case will likely go to the United States Supreme Court on an appeal. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R-W.V.) has already confirmed that he plans to appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

“Decisions like this one, from a court dominated by Obama- and Biden-appointees, cannot stand,” said Morrisey in a statement. “We’ll take this up to the Supreme Court and win.”

North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell (R-N.C.), who is responsible for oversight of the state’s health plan, denounced the ruling as being in “direct conflict” with prior decisions by federal appeals courts, and similarly vowed to take the case to the Supreme Court.

“The Plan cannot be everything for everyone,” said Folwell. “Untethered to the reality of the Plan’s fiscal situation, the majority opinion opens the way for any dissatisfied individual to override the Plan’s reasoned and responsible decisions and drive the Plan towards collapse.”

Previously, the 4th Circuit had ruled against West Virginia’s ban on “transgender” athletes competing in sports for the wrong gender, determining it to be a violation of Title IX, the federal statute dealing with gender-based discrimination in education.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

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