Judge Blocks Biden’s HHS Rule Expanding Gender Orientation Protections

A federal judge in Mississippi blocked a proposed rule from Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that would have compelled healthcare entities to accept gender ideology.

U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. ruled that HHS expanded its authority upon proposing the rule extending anti-sex discrimination laws to include gender identity.

A group of Republican attorney generals, led by Tennessee AG Jonathan Skrmetti, said the rule would force states to cover transgender surgeries for minors.

Guirola wrote that he was blocking the rule “in so far as this final rule is intended to extend discrimination on the basis of sex to include discrimination on the basis of gender identity.” He found that “Plaintiffs have demonstrated that there is a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their claims and that they will suffer irreparable harm in the form of either compliance costs or lost federal funding.”

“HHS acted unreasonably when it relied on Bostock’s analysis in order to conflate the phrase ‘on the basis of sex’ with the phrase ‘on the basis of gender identity,'” the judge added, referring to a 2020 Supreme Court ruling regarding gender identity protections.

In a statement responding to the ruling, Skrmetti said, “Today a federal court said no to the Biden administration’s attempt to illegally force every health care provider in America to adopt the most extreme version of gender ideology.”

“The administration has over and over again issued regulations that mangle the law to advance an ideological agenda,” Skrmetti continued. “This case is just one of many examples of Tennessee working with other states to block the unlawful abuse of regulatory power. Today’s order puts the rule on pause while we keep fighting to ensure this illegal rule never goes into effect.”

Fifteen GOP-led states, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia, sued the Biden administration over the proposed rule in June.