Wednesday 7 June 2023

Florida’s Longstanding Battle With Its Pro-Gender Identity Judge

 The federal judge who issued a temporary block on portions of Florida’s law protecting children from life-damaging medical treatments in the name of so-called gender-affirming care has a history of thwarting the Sunshine State’s conservative movement.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida Judge Robert Hinkle defied basic biological science on Tuesday when he concluded “gender identity is real” in a ruling that partially strikes down a law signed by Governor Ron DeSantis last month that bans doctors from prescribing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to minors.

Hinkle, who former President Bill Clinton nominated, ruled that the benefits of treatment with GnRH agonists, or puberty blockers, and eventually with cross-sex hormones, would outweigh the risks despite the substances receiving a warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year due to potential brain swelling, loss of vision, and other serious risks for children.

“The elephant in the room should be noted at the outset,” Hinkle wrote in a 44-page ruling. “Gender identity is real. The record makes this clear.”

But Hinkle’s latest move comes after other controversial actions in recent years taken by the judge against DeSantis and conservative members of the Florida legislature.

In August 2020, DeSantis suspended liberal Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren, a George Soros-funded prosecutor, for refusing to uphold certain state laws and undoing police work, which authorities argued emboldened criminals.

DeSantis also ousted Warren after the attorney pledged not to prosecute women for violating a recently enacted state law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and would forego criminally charging doctors who perform sex changes on patients in the event Florida lawmakers deemed it illegal.

During a press conference, DeSantis said that he would not allow “this pathogen of ignoring the law to get a foothold in the state of Florida.”


Nearly four months later, Hinkle ruled DeSantis violated the Constitution, but upheld Warren’s suspension, saying that the governor made false allegations that the Florida attorney had blanket policies not to prosecute certain kinds of cases.

Warren’s removal from office headed to a federal appeals court in Alabama last month, but a final decision has not been made, according to a local Fox channel.

In the months leading up to the 2020 presidential election, Hinkle dismantled portions of Florida’s felon voting law that the state’s Republican-controlled legislature passed last year that requires people with felony convictions to pay all outstanding court debts to be eligible to vote.

Although Hinkle did not completely strike down the law, he argued that nearly 775,000 felons with outstanding legal and financial obligations barred from voting violated the U.S. Constitution’s ban on poll taxes.

“This pay-to-vote system would be universally decried as unconstitutional but for one thing: each citizen at issue was convicted, at some point in the past, of a felony offense,” the judge wrote in his 125-page ruling. “A state may disenfranchise felons and impose conditions on their reenfranchisement. But the conditions must pass constitutional scrutiny.”

Although former President Donald Trump clinched Florida in the 2020 election by a 3.4-point margin, Hinkle’s efforts did not go unnoticed in the southern Red State.

With Hinkle’s latest move using federal authority to override Florida’s historic legislation that protects children from harmful leftist initiatives such as mutilating surgical procedures, the battle could reach the U.S. Supreme Court in the near future.

Jeremy Redfern, a spokesperson for DeSantis, told Reuters via email that the governor’s office “obviously” disagrees with the judge’s ruling.

“We will continue fighting against the rogue elements in the medical establishment that push ideology over evidence and protect against mutilating our kids,” Redfern said.

Post a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search