Texas Supreme Court is Investigating Families of Trans Teens

In a unanimous ruling on a controversial issue, the Texas Supreme Court on Friday has cleared the way for the state child welfare agency to resume investigating parents and doctors who provide gender-affirming care for trans youth — actions that Gov. Greg Abbott has equated to child abuse.

The ruling overturns a lower court’s injunction from March 11, barring state officials from pursuing Abbott’s Feb. 22. directive that instructed the Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate “any reported instances” of a range of treatments and procedures, including the administration of hormones and puberty-blocking drugs.

The parents of a transgender teen sued to stop the investigations, and in early March, District Judge Amy Clark Meachum issued a temporary order halting an investigation into the parents of the 16-year-old girl. Meachum later issued another order at the statewide level, temporarily blocking all such investigations stemming from Abbott’s directive.

A Texas appeals court later upheld that injunction, but today’s action by the state’s highest court has lifted Meachum’s statewide order.

The specific family who filed the original lawsuit is still protected under the injunction, the Supreme Court ruled.

The court did say neither Abbott nor Attorney General Ken Paxton can dictate what DFPS chooses to investigate, adding, “neither the governor nor the attorney general could bind DFPS’s investigatory authority.”

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