Supreme Court

23-0697 - State of Texas v. Loe 

State of Texas v. Loe

  • Case number: 23-0697
  • Legal category: Constitutional Law
  • Subtype: Gender Dysphoria Treatment
  • Set for oral argument: January 30, 2024

Case Summary

This case involves a challenge under the Texas Constitution to a statutory prohibition on the provision of certain medical treatments to children experiencing gender dysphoria.

S.B. 14 adds to the Health and Safety Code subchapter X, which governs “Gender Transitioning and Gender Reassignment Procedures and Treatments for Certain Children.” New Section 161.702 of the Code prohibits a physician or healthcare worker from knowingly performing certain procedures or administering certain treatments “[f]or the purpose of transitioning a child’s biological sex as determined by the sex organs, chromosomes, and endogenous profiles of the child or affirming the child’s perception of the child’s sex if that perception is inconsistent with the child’s biological sex.” S.B. 14 authorizes the Attorney General to bring an action to enforce the prohibition in Section 161.702, and it amends the Occupations Code to require that the medical license of a physician in violation of Section 161.702 be revoked.

Plaintiffs–Appellees are the parents of children who seek medical treatments prohibited by Section 161.702, physicians who wish to continue providing such treatments to children, and organizations representing the interests of these groups. Plaintiffs sued the Attorney General and other state defendants, alleging that S.B. 14 violates the Texas Constitution. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that S.B. 14 violates the due course of law guarantee in Article I, Section 19 by infringing on parental autonomy with respect to medical decision-making, by depriving physicians of a vested property interest in their medical licenses, and by infringing on the occupational freedom of healthcare workers. The plaintiffs further alleged that S.B. 14 violates the guarantees of equal rights and equality under the law in Article I, Sections 3 and 3a by discriminating against transgender children because of their sex and transgender status.

The trial court denied the State’s plea to the jurisdiction, concluded that the plaintiffs are likely to prevail on the merits of their constitutional claims, and granted a statewide temporary injunction prohibiting the State from enforcing S.B. 14. The State filed a direct appeal to the Supreme Court, which noted probable jurisdiction under Section 22.001(c) of the Government Code and set the case for oral argument. The State challenges the injunction on jurisdictional grounds and on the merits.


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