June 14, 2022

A Jenner & Block team helped secure a victory for transgender rights on June 10, when a federal judge ruled that North Carolina’s health plan for state workers must cover medically necessary treatments for gender dysphoria. The firm represented the American Medical Association and seven health care organizations as amici in the case in federal court in North Carolina. 

The court, which found that excluding treatments for gender dysphoria was unlawful discrimination based on sex and transgender status, cited Jenner & Block’s amicus brief.The brief, filed in November 2021, argued that lack of gender-affirming care increases the rate of “negative mental-health outcomes, substance abuse, and suicide.” The brief also argued that “discrimination in health coverage reinforces stigma associated with being transgender. Such stigma, in turn, leads to psychological distress and attendant mental-health consequences.”

The team, working pro bono, included Partners Howard S. Suskin, Matthew D. Cipolla, and Jessica Ring Amunson; Special Counsel D. Matthew Feldhaus; Associates Illyana A. Green, Lawrence W. McMahon, and Paralegal Mary Patston.