Skip to content

US Supreme Court allows Idaho to enforce law protecting vulnerable children

High Court narrows lower court order after Idaho attorney general filed emergency motion
Related Case:
Children playing in a field

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday to narrow a lower court’s order to apply only to the challengers and allow Idaho to otherwise enforce its law that protects children from harmful and experimental drugs and procedures. Although activists challenged only certain parts of Idaho’s commonsense law, the lower court stopped the state from enforcing its entire law statewide, prohibiting Idaho from even protecting children under age five from irreversible surgeries that disfigure their bodies and stop their natural development.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Labrador v. Poe allows Idaho to protect children as the case proceeds. Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador, with the assistance of attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom and Cooper & Kirk PLLC, asked the court for that result in an emergency motion filed last month.

“I’ve witnessed firsthand the devastating consequences of drugs and procedures used on children with gender dysphoria. And it’s a preventable tragedy,” Labrador said. “The state has a duty to protect and support all children, and that’s why I’m proud to defend Idaho’s law that ensures children are not subjected to these life-altering drugs and procedures. Those suffering from gender dysphoria deserve love, support, and medical care rooted in biological reality. Denying the basic truth that boys and girls are biologically different hurts our kids. No one has the right to harm children, and I’m grateful that we, as the state, have the power—and duty—to protect them.”

“Idaho’s law rightly supports children’s natural biological development, ensuring that children experiencing gender dysphoria have a chance for comprehensive healing and compassionate mental health support,” said ADF Vice President of Litigation Strategy and Center for Conscience Initiatives Jonathan Scruggs. “Respected authorities continue to find that the overwhelming majority of children will naturally resolve their dysphoria as they mature. And no reliable scientific evidence demonstrates that these dangerous medical procedures improve mental health. That’s why countries like Sweden, England, and Finland—which once recommended these procedures for children—are now restricting them and protecting children from the devastating effects they have had on countless lives. Idaho should be free to enforce its law.”

Idaho enacted the Vulnerable Child Protection Act last year, protecting children from dangerous and often irreversible drugs and procedures that block natural development and remove healthy body parts. Activists sued the state, and a district court blocked Idaho from enforcing its law. The Office of the Idaho Attorney General, with the assistance of ADF and Cooper & Kirk, appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in January, asking it to allow the law to take effect while the case proceeds, but the 9th Circuit denied the request in two unreasoned orders. Idaho then appealed to the Supreme Court.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

# # #

Related Profiles

Jonathan Scruggs
Jonathan Scruggs
Senior Counsel, Vice President of Litigation Strategy & Center for Conscience Initiatives
Jonathan Scruggs serves as senior counsel and vice president of litigation strategy and the Center for Conscience Initiatives with Alliance Defending Freedom.