Federal judge blocks Arkansas transgender youth treatment ban 

A federal judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked the Arkansas law that bans gender-affirming care for transgender youth as part of the state’s legal battle with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

U.S. District Judge James Moody granted a preliminary injunction for the law that punishes physicians for giving gender confirming treatment to minors and recommending other providers for such care.

Moody, an Obama appointee to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, also denied the state’s motion to dismiss the ACLU’s lawsuit.

Holly Dickson, the executive director of ACLU Arkansas, praised the temporary injunction in a statement, saying it “sends a clear message to states across the country that gender-affirming care is life-saving care, and we won’t let politicians in Arkansas — or anywhere else — take it away.”

Background: The law, which was set to go into effect July 28, passed earlier this year after the Republican-led Arkansas legislature overrode a veto from Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R).

What’s next: Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R) announced that the state will appeal the ruling.

“I will aggressively defend Arkansas’s law which strongly limits permanent, life-altering sex changes to adolescents,” she said in a statement. “I will not sit idly by while radical groups such as the ACLU use our children as pawns for their own social agenda.”