Power Check: Balance Vs. Control

By July 23, 2021No Comments
Protest to protect Trans Kids

After a controversial legislative session, a federal judge granted an injunction on HB1570, a new law that would ban healthcare for Trans youth in our state.

When it comes to good government, balance of power is crucial. An example: if a lawmaker uses their power to hurt a specific group, the judicial branch can correct when necessary. But should our courts have to do this all the time? Our newest laws have kept Arkansas courts busy. From voting rights to Trans rights, our legislature overreached and did a number on our state. Now Arkansas taxpayers must foot the judicial bill for the legislature’s power grab. 

This week a federal judge temporarily blocked HB1570. The new law would ban gender-affirming care for Trans youth, taking healthcare decisions away from families.

“Today’s victory is a testament to the trans youth of Arkansas and their allies, who never gave up the fight to protect access to gender-affirming care and who will continue to defend the right of all trans people to be their authentic selves, free from discrimination. We won’t rest until this cruel and unconstitutional law is struck down for good.”

Holly Dickson, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas

Judgement Day

Judge. Moody Jr. taking his oath

Judge James M. Moody Jr. took his judicial oath in 2014. Image from the Democrat-Gazette.

Judge James M. Moody Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas heard arguments in the case, subsequently granting the ACLU’s request for a preliminary injunction against the law. HB1570 would have taken effect July 28th.

“To pull this care midstream from these patients, or minors, would cause irreparable harm. Public interest calls favor to the plaintiffs.”

Judge James M. Moody Jr. ruled from the bench.

Power Struggle: Extremists Weigh In

Leslie Rutledge Speaking

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge vows to hurt Trans kids and spend your tax money in the process.

Unsurprisingly, the injunction has already faced backlash from extremist lawmakers.

“We have an out of control federal judiciary,” Sen. Jason Rapert said on Twitter shortly after hearing the news. But here’s the thing: it’s actually the other way around. The legislature is out of control and the courts are having to restore balance.

Another unhappy official is Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. Following the decision, Rutledge said she plans on appealing it. Not surprising, considering she’s listed on the lawsuit as a defendant. Moreover, Rutledge is  known for wasting our tax dollars– exactly what she’s doing now. These laws not only hurt Trans kids, they also hurt Arkansans’ pocketbooks.

Has Balance Been Restored?


How do we keep our legislature in check when they are so focused on tipping the scale?

Although this federal ruling is cause for celebration, the suit isn’t over yet. Judge Moody Jr.’s ruling temporarily stops HB1570. What does that mean? The law is on pause while a legal challenge from the ACLU works its way through the courts, according to online federal court records.

The fight isn’t over yet. We have to keep standing up for Trans kids, and we have to keep pushing for balance of power within our government. Because in Arkansas, the People Rule.