A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from enforcing a new regulation that would cut back health care protections for transgender people.
Judge Frederic Block’s last-minute decision puts on hold a rule that was to have taken effect Tuesday. Block wrote he believes the rule may not be enforceable after the June Supreme Court ruling outlawing workplace discrimination against gay and transgender men and women.
“When the Supreme Court announces a major decision, it seems a sensible thing to pause and reflect on the decision’s impact,” Judge Block wrote Monday. “Since HHS (Health and Human Services) has been unwilling to take that path voluntarily, the court now imposes it.”
Block’s decision means the new rule will be reviewed by the courts unless HHS decides to scrap it.
The HHS regulation would have stripped health care protections for transgender men and women that was guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act – popularly known as Obamacare.
Analysts said the HHS regulation was the Trump administration's effort to appease religious conservatives upset over the Supreme Court ruling.
Two transgender women challenged the regulation.
Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi calls Judge Block’s ruling a “victory for the LGBTQ community and the rule of law.”
The HHS said it is disappointed by the ruling but did not say what its next move would be.