COLUMBUS- In a victory for transgender Ohioans and their families, the Supreme Court of Ohio has rejected a request by the state to narrow a temporary restraining order granted by a lower court blocking the state from enforcing its ban on gender-affirming medical care for trans youth. 

On Wednesday, April 24, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Ohio, and the global law firm Goodwin Procter filed a motion to intervene in the mandamus case, Yost v. Judge Holbrook. The legal organizations, representing two Ohio families whose children are at risk of losing critical life-saving medical care, urged the Ohio Supreme Court to deny the state’s emergency request that Judge Holbrook, of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, drastically narrow the scope of the temporary injunction he placed on House Bill 68.  
The TRO, issued on April 16, blocks the ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth and the ban on transgender girls and women participating on girls or women’s sports teams from taking immediate effect. In his emergency mandamus motion, Attorney General Yost claimed that the trial court lacked authority to enjoin enforcement of the constitutionally suspect statute.

Today’s decision by the court denies the state’s effort to narrow the scope of the TRO, and allows the case to proceed in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, where a trial is currently scheduled for July 15.
“This decision was correct.  The state’s request was egregious. The scope of the temporary restraining order was necessary and appropriate to prevent the constitutional violations and other irreparable harm that would immediately occur if HB 68 were permitted to take effect. Our legal battle will continue until this cruel restriction is permanently overturned,” added Freda Levenson, Legal Director at the ACLU of Ohio.    
“The state’s claim that this was an ‘emergency’ because it could not enforce an unconstitutional statute was  utterly absurd. Far from creating an emergency, the challenged temporary injunction merely maintains the status quo in Ohio – that trans youth be permitted to access life-saving medical care with support from parents and doctors. We’re thankful the court did not allow the state to subvert the rights of trans youth and their families” said Harper Seldin, Senior Staff Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union.  
“There was no legal or factual basis to grant the state’s emergency motion. The trial court was correct in issuing a temporary restraining order until a preliminary injunction hearing, holding that our clients are likely to ultimately win their claim that House Bill 68 violates the Ohio Constitution in multiple ways,” added Allison DeLaurentis and Miranda Hooker, Complex Litigation & Dispute Resolution Partners, Goodwin Procter.