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L.W. v. Skrmetti

Description:  Politicized interest groups are challenging Tennessee’s law that protects children from harmful and unnecessary medical procedures.

Children playing in a field
Thursday, Sep 28, 2023

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch regarding the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit’s decision Thursday in L.W. v. Skrmetti to uphold Tennessee and Kentucky state laws that protect children from harmful and unnecessary medical procedures:

“Tennessee and Kentucky are right to protect minors from harmful, irreversible, and experimental medical procedures that can permanently alter children’s bodies without any proven long-term benefit. Children suffering discomfort with their sex are best served by compassionate mental health care. Even the far-from-impartial World Professional Association for Transgender Health has admitted that the overwhelming majority of children will naturally resolve their gender dysphoria as they mature. That’s why the countries that have been the leaders in so-called ‘gender affirming care’—such as Sweden, England, Denmark, and Finland—are reversing course and now curtailing the use of dangerous ‘gender transition’ procedures and protecting children from the bad science that has devastated countless lives.

“As the court recognized, ‘Administering puberty blockers to prevent pubertal development can cause diminished bone density, infertility, and sexual dysfunction. Introducing high doses of testosterone to female minors increases the risk of erythocytosis, myocardial infarction, liver dysfunction, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, hypertension, and breast and uterine cancer. And giving young males high amounts of estrogen can cause sexual dysfunction and increases the risk of macroprolactinoma, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, cholelithiasis, and hypertriglyceridemia.’ Indeed, the court concluded, ‘no one disputes that these treatments carry risks or that the evidence supporting their use is far from conclusive.’

“Activist groups and professionals with large financial interests continue to push harmful puberty-blockers, potentially sterilizing cross-sex hormones, and irreversible genital-mutilation surgeries on children too young to understand the long-term implications for their lives. The 6th Circuit rightly agreed that Tennessee and Kentucky are free to implement laws that protect vulnerable children and give them time to flourish,” Bursch continued.

ADF attorneys filed a friend-of-the-court brief in July with the 6th Circuit urging it to uphold Tennessee’s and Kentucky’s laws, which it did.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT John Bursch

John Bursch is senior counsel and vice president of appellate advocacy with Alliance Defending Freedom. Bursch has argued 12 U.S. Supreme Court cases and more than 30 state supreme court cases since 2011, and a recent study concluded that among all frequent Supreme Court advocates who did not work for the federal government, he had the 3rd highest success rate for persuading justices to adopt his legal position. Bursch served as solicitor general for the state of Michigan from 2011-2013. He has argued multiple Michigan Supreme Court cases in eight of the last ten terms and has successfully litigated hundreds of matters nationwide, including six with at least $1 billion at stake. As part of his private firm, Bursch Law PLLC, he has represented Fortune 500 companies, foreign and domestic governments, top public officials, and industry associations in high-profile cases, primarily on appeal. He received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1997 from the University of Minnesota Law School and is admitted to practice in numerous federal district and appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.