Paxton seeks to intervene in GENECIS case

This is what I was worried about.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wants the state to intervene in a court battle over medical care for transgender youth at a Dallas hospital.

Paxton filed a petition in a Dallas County court Tuesday night asking that the state be allowed to get involved in the case between Children’s Medical Center Dallas and the doctor who once led its Genecis medical program. A judge recently granted Dr. Ximena Lopez’s request to temporarily resume her regular practice after Children’s and UT Southwestern, which jointly ran the program, last year stopped providing certain medical treatments for adolescent patients newly seeking care for gender dysphoria.

The attorney general is arguing that transgender adolescents should be blocked from accessing treatments such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy, which he says may constitute abuse but which are broadly supported by the medical community.

“In order to protect its interest … in the welfare of children subject to this life-altering decision in the hands of a doctor, the state surely has a right to intervene in this matter,” Paxton and his top deputies wrote in their brief.

The brief didn’t offer a detailed explanation of how the state wants to affect the case. Neither Paxton nor Abbott responded to requests for comment.

Lopez’s legal team filed a response Wednesday evening, saying that the attorney general’s intervention is politically motivated. The team also filed an emergency motion to shorten the time before a temporary injunction hearing currently scheduled for May 26. The temporary injunction, if granted, could extend the pause on Children’s decision to stop providing certain care for new transgender adolescent patients.


“Through his filing, the attorney general is saying that he and the state should decide what is best for Texas children instead of their parents and chosen physicians,” Lopez’s attorney Charla Aldous said in a statement. “That’s a very dangerous path to follow when we’re talking about parents who are literally trying to secure lifesaving, internationally recognized standard-of-care treatment for their kids.”

See here, here, and here for some background. This is completely unsurprising, but hopefully the court will swat it aside. It would be nice if UT Southwestern took the position that this is just between them and the doctor and the state should butt out, but I doubt that will happen. I’ll keep an eye on this to see where it goes from here.

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One Response to Paxton seeks to intervene in GENECIS case

  1. Kibitzer Curiae says:


    Re: “Paxton filed a petition in a Dallas County court Tuesday night asking that the state be allowed to get involved”

    This is, once more, an example of sloppy reporting.

    Texas has a liberal policy for intervening in civil lawsuits. See TRCP 60. No permission or leave of court is required. Therefore, the State’s filing is titled Original Petition in [!] Intervention. It’s NOT a petition to [!] intervene, or to be allowed to intervene. The filing is a pleading, not a motion.

    Any other party already in the lawsuit (i.e., plaintiff or defendant) can move to strike the intervention, if they so chose, and believe they have good cause. In the interim, the intervenor – here the State, not Attorney General Paxton as an individual — is a party for all purposes.

    Dr. Lopez promptly filed objections to the sufficiency of the AG’s pleading, known as “special exceptions” under Rule 91, and in the alternative asked for the intervention to be stricken if the AG doesn’t amend the intervention filing within 24 hours and supply a host of particulars as requested. That is unlikely to happen, however, for lack of a minimum amount of notice on motions and lack of exigent circumstances. In any event, whether or not the AG is participating doesn’t constrain the trial court judge with respect to the temporary injunction, and an assistant AG could alternatively show up and attend the hearing, or submit an amicus curiae brief to articulate the position of “the State”, which – in effect – is the A.G., since he represents and speaks for the State. There is simply no emergency with respect to the intervention filing to justify deviating from the normal procedures. And the general rule allows intervention up to the time of trial.

    The case is Ximena Lopez, M.D., v Children’s Medical Center at Dallas, No CC-22-03427-B, pending in the County Court at Law No.2 of Dallas County.

    You can look it up online, using the integrated Dallas County county & district clerk portal for civil cases.


    Any party may intervene by filing a pleading, subject to being stricken out by the court for sufficient cause on the motion of any party.

    Tex. R. Civ. P. 60

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