Attorney General Ken Paxton today asked a federal judge for summary judgment in a case against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) over a regulation that redefines “sex” to include “gender identity” and “termination of pregnancy” under Title IX. The Affordable Care Act expressly adopted Title IX’s protection against “sex” discrimination. The motion requests a permanent injunction against the rule and a final judgment in the lawsuit.
Last December, Attorney General Paxton won a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking new federal health rules from forcing doctors to perform controversial operations and abortions, even if they believed the procedures were not in the best interests of their patients, or violated their deeply held religious or conscientious beliefs. Judge Reed O’Connor of the U.S. District Court for Northern District of Texas ruled that the State of Texas and the other the plaintiffs in Franciscan Alliance v. Sylvia Burwell were likely to prevail in court on their claim that HHS enacted the new rule without legal authority under the Administrative Procedure Act, and that it infringes on the rights of health care providers under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
“Doctors’ best medical judgment and deeply held religious beliefs should not be voided by political agendas in Washington,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The doctor/patient relationship should remain between doctors and their patients, and the government has no business telling doctors what their patients need. We’re asking the court for a permanent injunction against the rule based on a pure legal question that the court has already answered: the Obamacare rule is unlawful.”
The new rule would have significant impact on Texas, other states and health care providers. It requires taxpayers to fund all treatments designed for one to transition to a different sex. Physicians could be in violation of the rule if they believe certain treatments are not in a patient’s best interests, or, if they cannot perform a particular procedure for religious or conscientious reasons and refer a patient to another health care provider. In addition, the rule would force the Employee Retirement System of Texas and others to amend its insurance coverage for some 500,000 participants to provide for gender reassignment and abortion.
Texas is joined in the motion for summary judgment by the states of Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Wisconsin and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, as well as Franciscan Alliance, Inc., Specialty Physicians of Illinois, LLC, and Christian Medical and Dental Associations.
View the motion for summary judgment here.
View the appendix ISO of the motion here.
View the brief ISO the motion here.