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Deadline passes for Biden admin to appeal ruling against transgender mandate, religious groups hail victory

A deadline passed last week for the Biden administration to appeal a federal court's ruling blocking a mandate requiring doctors to perform gender reassignment surgery.

Religious liberty groups are hailing victory after a deadline passed on Friday for the Biden administration to appeal a federal court ruling striking down a transgender mandate from late August.

Issued under President Obama, and passed over to the Biden administration, the Health and Human Services (HHS) transgender mandate required doctors and hospitals to performance gender reassignment surgeries on any patient – including children – even if it was against a doctor’s conscience or medical judgment. 

A group of religious organizations, including Franciscan Alliance, Christian Medical and Dental Society and Specialty Physicians of Illinois, sued the Obama administration and later the Biden administration.

In August, the Fifth Circuit blocked the mandate, ruling that the religious healthcare network cannot be required to carry out gender reassignment surgeries in violation of their beliefs or professional medical judgment. 


The Biden administration had until Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. Since no action was taken, the Fifth Circuit’s ruling stands. 

A similar case is pending in the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals. On January 21, 2021, the court struck down a federal transgender mandate after it was challenged by a coalition of Catholic healthcare providers and the State of North Dakota. The federal government appealed the ruling to the Eight Circuit. A decision is expecting in the coming weeks.

Fox News has reached out to HHS for comment. 

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