TLDEF Statement Celebrating Victory for Transgender Young People in Arkansas Lawsuit Brandt v. Rutledge

NEW YORK – Today, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s preliminary injunction in Brandt v. Rutledge, a case challenging Arkansas Act 626, which would deny transgender people under 18 medically necessary, gender affirming health care. The Transgender Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) filed an amicus brief on behalf of Elliot Page, Major Griffin-Gracy, Gwendolyn Herzig, Jazz Jennings, and 54 others in the case and released the following statement from Gabriel Arkles, TLDEF’s Senior Counsel:

“Today’s decision ensures that young transgender and nonbinary people in Arkansas can continue to receive medically necessary, gender affirming health care. It is a significant and lifesaving victory for transgender people in Arkansas.

“In January, TLDEF filed an amicus brief on behalf of 58 transgender and nonbinary adults, all with the same message: trans people can lead beautiful, joyful lives. However, Arkansas’ law would deprive young people in the state from the lifesaving health care they need to thrive.

“Transgender teenagers, their parents, and their doctors are the ones who should be making medical decisions, not politicians. This decision brings immense hope not just to young people in Arkansas, but across the country, where transgender young people continue to be attacked. We look forward to Arkansas Act 626 being struck down altogether.”


Brandt v. Rutledge is a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of four transgender teenagers, their parents, and their doctors, challenging Arkansas Act 626, a law that prohibits medical providers from providing gender affirming care to minors.

In TLDEF’s amicus brief in the case, transgender and nonbinary leaders share their stories about how gender-affirming care has changed their lives for the better. The brief highlights the incredible contributions amici have made to their communities, the hardships of gender dysphoria, and the joys of transitioning.

A trial is scheduled in the case for October.


Updated on Aug 25, 2022