One particular phrase, coined by professor Stafford Beer to explain complex systems (originally used in the context of cybernetics but now frequently aligned with American politics), is “the purpose of a system is what it does.” This dissection moves beyond justifications that politicians and academics often make to camouflage the outcomes of policies.

For kids seeking “transgender medical care,” that means hormones of the opposite sex, osteoporosis-inducing puberty blockers and surgeries like (or having) a double mastectomy. And these medical practices are both controversial and unprecedented in human history.

With such a notorious dispute, the Supreme Court usually steps in more quickly than it takes them to decide any other consequential policy and as soon it is formed with lower appellate courts disagreeing over an issue of law – known colloquially as a “circuit split.” 

It is happening right now with “trans medicine,” in a case that may go all the way to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has announced it will hear the Biden administration’s challenge to a Sixth Circuit decision that upheld Tennessee’s prohibition on access by transgender minors to gender-affirming care.

This ruling may be among the most important, affecting kids across this great land. The Biden DOJ contends that sex reassignment is a protected class, so all laws must receive strict scrutiny if they adversely affect these individuals. If this were to be appealed, it would carve out a new type of protected class and add layers to existing bans on child medical care.

The comparison is that transgender persons must prove “obvious, immutable or distinguishing characteristics.” Such a duty is self-contradictory, though, because the nature of gender identity is fluid and changeable. It then continued, saying: ‘the stories of de-transitioners illustrate’ that trans identity is also not an inherent aspect of humanity. This aspect of perception can change quite easily as it is not cast in stone.

The Biden DOJ similarly argues that trans-identified individuals are politically powerless because a wave of legislation targeting gender-affirming care has been introduced. But the Sixth Circuit observed that broad, powerful institutions – including the federal government and large medical organizations – have backed trans rights today, undercutting their claim of political impotence.

The Biden administration contends the Tennessee ban violates the 14th Amendment by discriminating on sex. But the Sixth Circuit said that its focus is on age, not autonomy or even medical procedures of unknown long-term effects. New data on this since the release of internal WPATH records and U.K. Cass Review confirms that we have “no good evidence” for typical gender identity interventions.

Although supported by a few prestigious medical bodies, the WPATH standards have been criticized with respect to their validity and as having emerged from political forces. Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine is said to have asked WPATH “to do a little PR in line with the administration’s politics.”

The case before the Supreme Court provides an opportunity for the justices to weigh in on arguments upholding gender-affirming care related to minors and possibly issue a nationwide directive. The ruling underlines the significance of elections, since it is exactly Biden administration policies that have done a great deal to exacerbate this issue. This impending decision could be a watershed moment in the future of medical care for transgender minors.