Kimberlee Kruesi, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican lawmakers and Gov. Bill Lee have approved hundreds of laws in Tennessee this year. Many of the statutes take effect Saturday, including measures on health care for transgender children, police accountability and school safety. Notably, the first proposal introduced by lawmakers is a ban on gender-affirming care for minors. A federal judge has blocked part of it, preventing the state from enforcing a ban on puberty blockers and hormone therapy for minors. The judge has allowed the ban on gender-affirming surgeries for youth to take effect. Separately, Republicans have passed legislation to stop public schools and universities from requiring employees to take implicit bias training.
Questions remain over how a law designed to limit drag shows in Tennessee will be enforced after a federal judge declared it unconstitutional while saying the decision only applied to the state’s most populated county. Last week, U.S. District Judge Thomas Parker ruled that the first-in-the-nation law was “unconstitutionally vague and substantially overbroad,” and encouraged “discriminatory enforcement.” Yet questions have remained about how prosecutors will respond. Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said in a statement that the law remains in effect outside of Shelby County. However, Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy told reporters Tuesday that district attorneys likely won’t enforce a law that a federal judge says violates the First Amendment.