A US Federal judge has given an injunction prohibiting the Trump administration from ending nondiscrimination protections in health care for transgender people, a move decried by Civil rights advocates on the ground that transgender patients could be denied health care.
While giving the injunction on Monday August 18, 2020, Judge Frederic Block of the U.S. District Court, said that Mr. Trump’s new rules contradict the ruling by the Supreme Court.
He added that The Department of Health and Human’s attempt to enact them was arbitrary.
The rule which could have bounced into effect on Tuesday was to reverse Obama-era Affordable Care Act regulations which legally include transgender people in the discrimination protections regarding sexes.
The Supreme Court had earlier ruled that nondiscrimination protections on the basis of sex include gay and transgender employees. It was also said that regulations finalized by the HHS in June has been prohibited by the Title VII’s plain terms.
Speaking about the Supreme Court decision, Block said, “When the Supreme Court announces a major decision, it seems a sensible thing to pause and reflect on the decision’s impact. Since HHS has been unwilling to take that path voluntarily, the Court now imposes it.”
In their response to the administration’s rules, civil right groups said that the rules was an attack on transgender people and could make them vulnerable to discrimination in health care especially amid the troubling coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, last month, in a rule published by the administration, transgender people were denied access to single-sex homeless shelters facilities that correspond to their gender identity.
They were also banned from enlisting in the military, participating in sports or using bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity.
Speaking in support of the new rule, Roger Severino, director of HHS’s Office for Civil Rights, argued that anti-discrimination provisions should only apply to the biologically determined male and female gender.
He further said that the rule was HHS’s attempt to cut down unnecessary regulations that have always cost American taxpayers $2.9 billion.
Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, that challenged the transgender health-care rules in court, said that the ruling would caution the Trump administration from exposing transgender people to discrimination.
“I hope that this sends a message to the Trump administration and to federal agencies that they should protect people from discrimination,” David said, “not expose them to bias and discrimination.”