A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from enacting a new rule that would roll back health care protections for transgender people.
U.S. District Court Judge, Frederic Block, on Monday August 17, 2020, prevented the regulation from the federal department of health and human services, which would have taken effect from today.
“When the Supreme Court announces a major decision, it seems a sensible thing to pause and reflect on the decision’s impact,” Block wrote in his order, suggesting the agency may want to reconsider.
“Since HHS has been unwilling to take that path voluntarily, the court now imposes it,” he added.
The HHS health care rule was seen as a signal to President Donald Trump’s social and religious conservative supporters that the administration remained squarely behind them after the shock of the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was nominated by Trump.
“An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex,” Gorsuch wrote.
“Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what (civil rights law) forbids,” he added
In a tweet, Trump called that “horrible & politically charged” and compared it to a shotgun blast in the faces of conservative Republicans.
The HHS rule sought to overturn Obama-era sex discrimination protections for transgender people in health care.
Similar to the underlying issues in the job discrimination case before the Supreme Court, the health care rule rests on the idea that sex is determined by biology.
The Obama-era version relied on a broader understanding shaped by a person’s inner sense of being male, female, neither or a combination.