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Who is Amy Clark Meachum? Texas judge blocks 'child abuse' investigation into trans teen's parents

Greg Abbott issued a directive for investigations of parents who help their transgender children get gender-affirming care, Judge Meachum just blocked it
After Gov. Greg Abbott's directive, Texas judge  Amy Clark Meachum has blocked an investigation (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images
After Gov. Greg Abbott's directive, Texas judge Amy Clark Meachum has blocked an investigation (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

After Texas Gov Greg Abbott declared last week that trans children's gender-affirming health care was "child abuse" and should be investigated as such, a Texas judge has blocked the investigation of a teen's parents and psychologist. Abbott said parents helping their children could lead to the criminalization of parents and healthcare providers, as well as the potential separation of parents from their children. Earlier, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) initiated an inquiry into a family as a result of Abbott's directive, as the teen's mother works for DFPS. On behalf of the family, Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas (ACLU of Texas), and the ACLU filed a lawsuit while Abbott, DFPS Commissioner Jaime Masters, and the DFPS were named as defendants in the case.

The 16-year-old trans girl and her parents faced “the imminent and ongoing deprivation of their constitutional rights, the potential loss of necessary medical care, and the stigma attached to being the subject of an unfounded child abuse investigation”, according to District Judge Amy Clark Meachum, who issued the temporary restraining order blocking the investigation. Judge Meachum said she'll conduct a hearing next week to seek a "statewide temporary injunction that would prevent the investigation of any reports of people facilitating or providing gender-affirming care to transgender minors solely based on the fact that the minors are transgender."  According to Abbott, doctors, nurses, teachers, and members of the public will now have to report instances that have been referred to as “so-called ‘sex change’ procedures".


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Who is Judge Amy Clark Meachum?

According to Ballotpedia, Judge Amy Clark Meachum, an alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin, belongs to the Democratic Party. She assumed her office in the year 2011 and currently is a judge of the Texas 201st District Court. Meachum will be running for re-election for judge of the Texas 201st District Court which is due on November 8, 2022. Lambda Legal senior counsel, Paul Castillo said in a statement, “We are relieved that—at least for now—the threat of a child abuse investigation is no longer hanging over the heads of the family members in this case. It is unconscionable for DFPS to still pursue any investigation or inflict more trauma and harm. We look forward to continuing the fight for all Texas families.”

At least two more families in Texas are being investigated, according to Daily Mail. Arkansas is one of a number of Republican-controlled states attempting to enact a variety of healthcare, bathroom, and sports ban on transgender youth in a legislative push that began last year when Arkansas became the first state to pass a ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth. That law is currently being challenged in court.

ACLU of Texas attorney, Brian Klosterboer added, “We appreciate the relief granted to our clients, but this should never have happened and is unfathomably cruel. Families should not have to fear being separated because they are providing the best possible health care for their children. The elected leaders and agencies of this state should not play politics with people’s lives. We will do all that’s possible to stop these abuses of power and ensure transgender young people can receive medically recommended treatment.”