The Department of Justice has submitted statements of interest to court challenges seeking to overturn two recently passed pieces of anti-trans legislation. The DOJ’s move follows a department spokesperson exclusively revealing to The Daily Beast last month that it would “fully enforce our civil rights statutes to protect transgender individuals.”
In its statement to the ACLU’s challenge to West Virginia’s ban on trans women and girls from school sports passed in April, the DOJ claims the law violates Title IX’s prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex, and that the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment protects trans students’ participation in school athletics.
The DOJ also submitted a statement to the ACLU’s court challenge of Arkansas’ House Bill 1570 passed in April, which bans transition care for trans minors, and prohibits doctors from providing gender-affirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to anyone under 18 years old, or from referring them to other providers for the treatment. The DOJ says the law—the first of its kind to pass in the U.S.—runs afoul of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which protects transgender young people from discrimination in access to medical care. “Prohibiting medically necessary care…amounts to intentional discrimination against transgender minors on the basis of sex,” the DOJ said.
In a statement, Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said: “With these actions, this Justice Department is making clear that these laws are harmful and illegal and cannot be tolerated.”