71 Am. U. L. Rev. F. 173 (2022).
In 2021, state legislatures introduced over 120 anti-transgender bills, the highest number introduced in a single year in American history. As part of this onslaught, the Arkansas legislature passed Act 626 over the governor’s veto, a law that prevents transgender youth from accessing gender-affirming healthcare. This Comment uses Act 626 as a case study to analyze the constitutionality of legislation that denies transgender individuals access to healthcare. Specifically, this Comment argues that Act 626 is unconstitutional under Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence for two reasons. First, transgender individuals should be considered a quasi-suspect classification under Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause jurisprudence. Second, access to gender- affirming healthcare invokes the fundamental liberty interest in bodily autonomy under the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause. Act 626 ultimately fails intermediate scrutiny analysis because it is not narrowly tailored to meet an important state interest.
* (They/Them); Junior Staffer, American University Law Review, Volume 71; J.D. Candidate, May 2023, American University Washington College of Law. Thank you so much to Professor Lise Beske for your invaluable guidance in crafting this Comment and to the entire AULR team who helped get the piece ready for publication!