A Florida District Court judge temporarily blocked portions of a law signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, which prohibited the performing of gender transitions on minors. According to Fox News, Judge Robert Hinkle issued an injunction allowing three minors who were undergoing transitions to continue with their hormone replacement procedures. However, the temporary injunction does not apply to minors who have not yet begun gender transitions.
Judge Hinkle made his support for gender ideology apparent in his 44-page injunction. Hinkle stated repeatedly that “gender identity is real,” while dismissing the perspective that “transgender identity is not real, that it is made up.” Hinkle accused proponents of the law of “bigotry” arguing, “common experience confirms this, as does a Florida legislator’s remarkable reference to transgender witnesses at a committee hearing as ‘mutants’ and ‘demons.’”
Hinkle appears to be have been condemning comments made by African-American Rep. Webster Barnaby (R-Florida), who spoke out against the legality of allowing biological males to use women’s restrooms, by simply declaring themselves to be female.
A Clinton-appointee, Hinkle has a history of rulings which favor socially-liberal causes. Notably, in the 2014 case Brenner v. Scott, Judge Hinkle issued an injunction preventing Florida from enforcing its statutes against homosexual marriage. Hinkle compared the Florida statutes to anti-miscegenation laws, and that, just as “the arguments supporting the ban on interracial marriage seem an obvious pretext for racism” so too “the arguments supporting Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, though just as sincerely held, will again seem an obvious pretext for discrimination.”
However, Hinkle’s past rulings have been met with judicial opposition from higher courts. In May of 2020, Hinkle ruled that a law signed by Gov. DeSantis requiring felons to pay all legal fees, fines, and restitution before earning the right to vote was unconstitutional for those unable to pay the fees. Hinkle derided the law as a “pay to vote system,” while simultaneously acknowledging that this would allow the majority of Florida’s felons to gain voting rights without paying their legal fees or restitution. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, overturning Hinkle’s ruling in a 6-4 decision which found that Florida was “constitutionally entitled to set legitimate voter qualifications.”
Time will tell if the Eleventh Circuit Court will step in once again to address Hinkle’s latest injunction.