U.S. District Judge Liles Burke recently denied a petition from the Department of Justice (DOJ) asking the state to delay deliberations on the trial challenging Alabama's ban on prescribing transgender hormones and medications to minors.

The DOJ asked for Alabama's case while similar challenges on near-identical laws on transgender operations for minors are challenged in other states. The Supreme Court could likely take up lower court decisions, allowing similar bans to take effect in other states.  

Burke rejected the DOJ's request. However, he did intimate openness to reconsideration in the future.

In April 2022, Gov. Kay Ivey signed VCAP (SB184) into law, which prohibits doctors in Alabama from performing transgender operations or prescribing cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers to individuals under 19. 

VCAP went into effect on May 8, 2022, but was blocked by U.S. District Judge Liles Burke a few days later. The injunction by Burke came after multiple parties added themselves as plaintiffs in the case, including five transgender minors by way of their parents, the United States of America and Kaitlin Toyama, an attorney-advisor with the civil rights division of the DOJ.

Related: Federal judge rules 'Rachel Levine' records subject to discovery in Alabama transgender operation for minors ban defense

A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals questioned U.S. attorneys as to why the DOJ asserted itself in the case in the first place. Burkes will preside over the trial, slated to begin in April 2024.

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