After judge blocks law protecting kids from transgender surgeries, Ohio calls on State Supreme Court to intervene

(The Daily Signal) – The attorney general of Ohio has asked the state’s Supreme Court to intervene in a matter involving an Ohio judge who temporarily blocked a law protecting children…

(The Daily Signal) – The attorney general of Ohio has asked the state’s Supreme Court to intervene in a matter involving an Ohio judge who temporarily blocked a law protecting children from “transgender” surgeries and procedures.

Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael Holbrook had issued a temporary restraining order for House Bill 68, the Saving Ohio Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act, on Tuesday.

That law bars physicians from performing “transgender reassignment” surgeries on children and from prescribing cross-sex hormones or drugs to block children’s puberty. It also would allow students to sue if they are deprived of a fair playing field in sports due to transgender activism (such as a boy who “identifies” as a girl playing on a girls’ volleyball team) and would protect parents’ rights to raise their children according to their biological sex.

A supermajority of Republican lawmakers voted to override Gov. Mike DeWine’s controversial veto of the bill in January, and before Holbrook blocked it, it was scheduled to go into effect on April 24.

On Monday, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, the Medical Board of Ohio, and the state of Ohio filed an emergency motion for a writ of prohibition, asking that Holbrook be ordered to modify his temporary restraining order to “comply with Ohio statutory and procedural limitations.”


“Ohio statutes, civil rules, and equitable principles authorize Ohio courts to grant preliminary injunctive relief only to parties before the court and only as to provisions that allegedly harm them,” the complaint says. “Respondent’s injunction vastly oversteps those express limitations on the court’s authority.”

The Ohio attorney general also argues that immediate relief is required because the judge and the Common Pleas Court of Franklin County “patently and unambiguously lack jurisdiction to grant preliminary equitable relief to millions of individuals not before the court, or to enjoin statutory provisions that plaintiffs do not allege harm them.”

Additionally, the filing states the judge’s order “foments uncertainty” in a “broad array of institutions and actors” that are affected by the law, including hospitals, schools, and universities.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio had filed a lawsuit on behalf of a child who allegedly identifies as transgender and that child’s family. When Holbrook temporarily blocked the law, ACLU of Ohio’s legal director, Freda Levenson, said in a statement that the ACLU was “thrilled and relieved” that “transgender youth can continue, for the near term at least, to access medically necessary health care.”

“Our legal battle will continue until, we hope, this cruel restriction is permanently blocked,” Levenson said. “Ohio families have a constitutional right to make personal health care decisions without government intrusion.”

Yost’s Monday filing came a week after the United States Supreme Court paved the way for Idaho to enforce its law protecting children from so-called gender-affirming care, or transgender surgeries and procedures. A judge appointed by former President Bill Clinton, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill, had temporarily blocked Idaho’s Vulnerable Child Protection Act in December, The Washington Post reported.

After Idaho appealed the block and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit refused to change the lower court opinion, Idaho asked the Supreme Court to intervene.

“Denying the basic truth that boys and girls are biologically different hurts our kids,” Idaho Attorney General Raúl R. Labrador said in a statement praising the ruling, The Washington Post reported. “No one has the right to harm children, and I’m grateful that we, as a state, have the power—and duty—to protect them.”