Recent News




Texas Supreme Court Allows Reinstatement of Portion of Injunction against TDFPS and Commissioner Regarding Plaintiffs' Gender-Affirming Care to Minor

On May 13, 2022, the Texas Supreme Court ruled on a petition for writ of mandamus and on an emergency motion to stay a temporary injunction in a case brought by the parents and doctor of a teen who is transitioning between genders. The emergency motion was dismissed as moot and the petition was conditionally granted in part and denied in part. Plaintiffs had sued Gov. Greg Abbott in his official capacity, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Jaime Masters in her official capacity, and TDFPS in Travis County district court to declare invalid Masters' statement that the department would abide by Abbott's directive (Feb. 22, 2022) to investigate reports of gender-transitioning procedures being performed on minors, citing Attorney General Ken Paxton's opinion that such procedures may be child abuse. The suit also sought declaratory relief that Abbott's and Masters' actions exceeded each one's official authority, violated the separation of powers clause in the Texas Constitution, are unconstitutionally vague, deprive parent plaintiffs of their parental rights, and deprive the child of her guarantee to equal rights. In addition, plaintiffs moved for injunctive relief. The district court granted a temporary injunction (TI) restraining defendants from taking action against plaintiffs pursuant to defendants' public statements regarding investigations and from taking action against any person in Texas based solely on reports of gender-affirming care to minors. Abbott, Masters, and the department filed an interlocutory appeal in the Third Court of Appeals, effectively suspending the TI. Plaintiffs/appellees moved for emergency relief in the court of appeals to reinstate the TI pursuant to Tex R. App. Proc. 29.3, which the court did. Defendants then petitioned the Texas Supreme Court to mandamus the court of appeals to withdraw its order reinstating the TI. The Court issued a majority opinion, a concurring opinion, and a concurring and dissenting opinion. To view all opinions in one document, click here. The TSC denied defendants' petition for mandamus as to the portion of the district court's TI enjoining action by Masters and/or the department against plaintiffs. The TSC conditionally granted mandamus with regard to enjoining any action by the governor against plaintiffs and with regard to the enjoining of the governor's, Masters' and the department's actions against any person in Texas, as Rule 29.3 allows reinstatement only as to parties' rights. Note that the actions in the district court and in the court of appeals have not been heard on the merits yet.


Other News Items by Year