DOJ’s Attempt to Block Rachel Levine’s Email Disclosure Unsuccessful

( – In 2022, the Alabama state legislature passed the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act (V-CAP), banning gender-affirming care for transgender minors under the age of 19. While the court initially blocked the law from taking effect for constitutional reasons, the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the injunction in August, allowing the law to proceed. The issue is still making its way through the courts.

On November 29, Fox News reported that Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, who is defending V-CAP, requested records from Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine. Marshall believes the assistant secretary’s records are relevant to the case because the Department of Justice (DOJ) is involved in the lawsuit and Dr. Levine is a strong proponent in support of gender-affirming care. According to Fox, the DOJ tried to block the request.

Instead of making Levine’s records available, the DOJ reportedly offered her former subordinate for the discovery process and a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) response with search terms apparently unrelated to the request. However, on November 17, the court found Dr. Levine’s emails were relevant to the matter at hand.

Marshall was happy about the court’s decision to grant the state’s motion. He reportedly told Fox News Digital that he wanted to search the assistant secretary’s emails for any “documents relevant” to defend V-CAP. Marshall said he looks forward to reviewing the HHS correspondence. Neither the DOJ nor Health and Human Services responded to requests for comment.

PBS reported that major medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, oppose gender-affirming care bans. Birmingham pediatrician Dr. Morissa Ladinsky said she’s “treated hundreds of transgender adolescents” and is aware of the struggles they face. She said the treatment provided is “safe, effective, and established medical care,” so there’s no reason for a ban.

Still, the lawyer for the state of Alabama firmly believes he is defending “Alabama’s children” and will continue to do so.

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