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Judge blocks Trump's rollback of trans healthcare protections

The discriminatory new regulation was due to have taken effect today (18 August).

2020-08-18

A federal judge has blocked Donald Trump's rollback of transgender healthcare protections.

Monday’s preliminary injunction from US District Court Judge Frederic Block in Brooklyn came just one day before new regulations making it easier for healthcare providers to discriminate against transgender people were set to start being enforced by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

In his judgement, Block indicated that the new regulations could violate the Supreme Court's recent ruling which extended federal civil rights legislation to cover sexual orientation and gender identity.

"When the Supreme Court announces a major decision, it seems a sensible thing to pause and reflect on the decision’s impact," Block wrote.

"Since HHS has been unwilling to take that path voluntarily, the court now imposes it."

In June, DHHS announced plans to re-word a 2016 Obama-era protection barring sex discrimination on the grounds of gender identity to "the plain meaning of the word 'sex' as male or female and as determined by biology."

The move came just days before Supreme Court judges ruled 6-3 that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and sex, also applies to LGBTQ workers on the basis of their sexuality and gender identiy.

Trump's latest attack on trans people was seen as an attempt to 'head off' the ruling and appease his conservative base ahead of November's presidential election.