Vanita Gupta, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be Associate Attorney General, refused to say whether the Department of Justice would intervene in cases where children were prescribed gender reassignment surgery without parental consent.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) asked Gupta about the controversial practice, specifically referring to a recent South Dakota bill that would prevent hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgery for children under the age of 16.
The following exchange then ensued:
Senator Lee: South Dakota, in the not too distant past, considered a bill to limit gender reassignment surgeries for children, for children under the age of 16. My understanding is that the bill failed, and when it failed inside the South Dakota legislature, you made some statements to the effect that you were quote, so happy, and quote, so thankful that these surgeries would be universally available to children under the age of 16. At what age, then, if it’s not appropriate to limit these surgeries to children under the age of 16, at what age would it be inappropriate to grant a gender reassignment surgery decision to a child, other than surgeries on infants, or someone who has been born in an intersex category?
Gupta: Senator, I believe that everyone must be treated with dignity and respect. These are, I’m assuming, very personal decisions that get made in families. My job if i’m confirmed as Associate Attorney General will be to enforce the existing laws, obviously, protecting the dignity of all people, as is in our federal civil rights laws. But — and that will be my mandate at the Justice Department .
Senator Lee: And where this thing is appropriate, do you believe parents should give their consent before such a surgery is performed ?
Gupta: Senator, honestly there’s the facts here matter. there are so many facts in any particular individual circumstances. And I don’t believe it’s for the Justice Department, if I’m confirmed, to be opining on that kind of very personal decision that gets made in families or by individuals. In fact i believe it would be highly improper. And so again, my allegiance will be to enforcing existing federal laws, and ensuring that the dignity of all Americans is protected.
The statement to which Senator Lee referred was the following tweet:
I was so happy when I saw this news earlier today, and I’m so thankful to everyone who fought this attempt to criminalize gender affirming health care for trans youth.
— Vanita Gupta (@vanitaguptaCR) February 11, 2020
Gupta faced intense scrutiny from Republicans over her radical views and past harsh political rhetoric, for which she apologized.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.