Yes, the statewide injunction against investigations into the families of trans kids is in effect


A Texas appeals court on Monday reinstated a temporary injunction blocking Texas from investigating parents for child abuse if they allow their transgender children to receive gender-affirming care.

The Texas 3rd Court of Appeals issued the order as part of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal on behalf of the parents of a transgender teenager who were being investigated by child welfare workers.

“Having reviewed the record, we conclude that reinstating the temporary injunction is necessary to maintain the status quo and preserve the rights of all parties,” three appellate justices wrote.


District Judge Amy Clark Meachum issued the temporary injunction March 11 after the ACLU and Lambda Legal sued.

The same night Meachum’s injunction was issued, Paxton filed an appeal and claimed he froze the injunction, allowing the state to continue investigations. However, experts said the appeal fell into a complicated legal area, and lawyers had challenged such automatic stays before, claiming the state should not be able to overturn an injunction simply by filing an appeal.

With Monday’s order, the injunction for now will continue to block the ongoing — and any new — investigations into Texans accused of child abuse based only on the allegation that they provided gender-affirming medical care.

See here and here for the background, and here for a copy of the Third Court’s order. Note that none of this is about the merits, just that as is usually the case the district court judge and now the court of appeals has ordered that the original status quo be maintained while the legal question is being answered. As noted when the original injunction was handed down, there will be a hearing in district court on July 11 for a permanent injunction, which is when the merits of the case will be decided.

According to the Chron, this decision will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court, though as of this writing that has not been announced yet. I don’t know if the same “automatic suspension of the injunction” policy that Paxton claimed for the first appeal would be in play in that situation or not, but I am sure that if it’s even a theoretical possibility, Ken Paxton will assert it. We’ll know soon enough.

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2 Responses to Yes, the statewide injunction against investigations into the families of trans kids is in effect

  1. Kibitzer Curiae says:

    RE: “According to the Chron, this decision will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court”

    The AG’s response takes the form of a petition for writ of mandamus against the Third Court of Appeals addressed to the Texas Supreme Court, which is distinct from a regular appeal via petition for review (PFR), and the disposition timeline is much faster.

    In conjunction with the mandamus petition, a motion for an emergency stay (of the Court of Appeals’ temporary order under appellate rule 29.3 “reinstating” the trial court’s order) has also been filed.

    As the AG’s briefing points out, the TRAPs don’t authorize reinstatement as such, which is the wrong concept in any event because the automatic supersedeas merely suspends (or “stays” in federal parlance) the legal effectiveness and enforceability of the trial court order at issue temporarily, rather than lifting or invalidating it. Rule 29.3 orders are orders issued by the appellate court and – it would appear — enforceable by that court alone. See TRAP 29.4. Enforcement of Temporary Orders.

    While an appeal from an interlocutory order is
    pending, only the appellate court in which the appeal
    is pending may enforce the order. But the appellate
    court may refer any enforcement proceeding to the
    trial court with instructions to:
    (a) hear evidence and grant appropriate relief; or
    (b) make findings and recommendations and
    report them to the appellate court

    So, it makes sense for the AG to target the Austin Court of Appeals and their rule 29.3 order with a mandamus proceeding, rather than District Judge Meachum, and ask the Supremes to “issue a writ of mandamus directing the Third Court of Appeals to withdraw its March 21 order.”

    The SCOTX number is Tex. 22-0227 and the docket is here:


    COMMENT: Leaving aside the propriety/merits of rule 29.3 order – expect the Supremes to grant a stay, though whether they will offer a rationale for doing so will be the more interesting question — the Third Court of Appeals should at least have attached a copy of the Meachum order and incorporated it by reference into their own opinion-order.

    How is the public supposed to know what it says otherwise?

    Now that the SCOTX mandamus case has been docketed, the public can view the order as an attachment to the AG’s petition:

    Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Application for Temporary Injunction at ……….. Tab A.

  2. Pingback: Paxton appeals to SCOTx to re-allow investigations of trans kids’ families – Off the Kuff

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