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Judge grants temporary restraining order against Missouri AG’s anti-transgender rule

Judge Ellen H. Ribaudo of the 21st Judicial Circuit granted a temporary restraining order against the implementation of the Missouri Attorney General’s unprecedented restrictions on gender-affirming care for transgender people of all ages.

Lambda Legal, ACLU of Missouri, and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP filed a petition seeking a temporary restraining order shortly after Attorney General Andrew Bailey filed an emergency rule on April 13th that imposed severe restrictions on all trans people seeking gender-affirming care. The lawsuit, Southampton Community Healthcare v. Bailey, was filed on behalf of Southampton Community Healthcare, Kelly Storck, Logan Casey, and the families of two transgender adolescents.

“We are immensely gratified by today’s ruling, which strikes a blow against this outrageous attempt to ban gender-affirming care for broad categories of transgender people of all ages,” said Nora Huppert, Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal. “We will continue to fight for our clients and for all transgender people in Missouri until this dangerous and unprecedented policy is set fully aside, and we will not be deterred by any attempt to shield this policy from the scrutiny of Missouri’s courts.”

“We thank the Court for understanding the urgency of temporarily stopping enforcement of the Attorney General’s emergency rule that would have immediate impacts on the way we provide care to our patients,” said Plaintiff Southampton Community Healthcare’s Dr. Michael Donovan. “Without this halt on the baseless and discriminatory rule, our practice would have been forced to grapple with how to provide ethical medical care to our transgender patients in a way consistent with our obligations under a rule that places illogical barriers to necessary care.”

“Plaintiffs have met their burden to show that they will be subjected to immediate and irreparable loss, damage or injury if the Attorney General is permitted to enforce the Emergency Rule, and its broad, sweeping provisions were implemented without further fact-finding or evidence,” Judge Ribuado stated in her order.

“Today’s ruling marks a win for transgender Missourians over an unprecedented attempt by the Attorney General to unilaterally legislate and harm their right to self-expression, bodily autonomy, and access to lifesaving health care,” said Gillian Wilcox, Deputy Director of Litigation for the ACLU of Missouri. “As was clear from the beginning, the attorney general’s claim of an emergency was proven an untruthful and dangerous attempt to get involved in individual and family medical decisions, showing that he will attack the very people he is supposed to serve and protect.”

Monday’s order came after a hearing in St. Louis County Circuit Court, following a federal judge’s rejection of Bailey’s last-minute efforts to have the case transferred to federal court. Once the case was sent back to state court, a new hearing was scheduled within hours to address the plaintiffs’ request for a temporary restraining order. After that hearing concluded, the Court stayed Bailey’s emergency rule.

The court set a hearing for a preliminary injunction on May 11. The temporary restraining order will expire May 15.

Read the judge’s order.

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