Judge removed from 7-year-old James Younger case, new judge to be appointed

James Younger with his father, Jeffrey Younger.
James Younger with his father, Jeffrey Younger. | Screenshot: YouTube

The Texas judge who rejected a jury's decision granting conservatorship to a mother intent on medically gender-transitioning her 7-year-old boy into a girl and instead awarded joint conservatorship to both parents has been removed from the case. 

A regional administrative judge, a conservative Republican, will soon be appointing a new judge to oversee the ongoing dispute.

In late October, Judge Kim Cooks of the 255th district ruled that parents Jeff Younger and Anne Georgulas would share conservatorship and have equal decision-making regarding the medical and psychological treatment of the boy, and Jude, his twin brother.

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Georgulas believes James is a transgender girl and is already socially transitioning him, calling him "Luna," and plans to pursue hormonal interventions like puberty blockers in the next six months to a year.

Two days prior to Cooks' ruling, however, a jury had awarded Georgulas sole conservatorship in an 11-1 decision that elicited a massive public outcry, heightened media scrutiny, an investigation from Governor Greg Abbott, and promises from state lawmakers to outlaw the medical transitioning of minors during the next legislative session.

Georgulas' attorneys filed to have Cooks recused from the case because of a Facebook post the judge shared on her personal page, a Dallas Morning News article about her ruling where she added a statement of her own, neither “[the] Governor nor any legislature had any influence on the Court’s Decision.”

Georgulas' attorneys maintained that by Cooks commenting on the case her impartiality had been compromised, and that "nothing the judge posted was in the best interest of the children in the case or to advance justice, but to simply advance her own political aims," according to The Texan last week.

Logan Odeneal, Jeff Younger’s attorney, argued Cooks’ actions did not meet the statutory requirement for recusal because her comments were made after the final verdict was issued.

An amicus attorney on the case — appointed by the court to be a third party, neutral voice — agreed with Odeneal, and asked for the motion to be scrapped.

Last week, Georgulas' team's request was granted.

Judge Tena Callahan, a retired district court judge, recused Cooks from the case. Thus, Cooks will not hear another motion from Georgulas, that the jury’s original decision in her favor, be upheld.

The fate of James Younger now rests in the hands of Ray Wheless, a regional administrative judge who is a conservative Republican from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Wheless will be assigning a new judge to oversee the contested case.

Jeff Younger, the boy's father, has called the administration of puberty-blocking drugs and hormones "chemical castration."

James Younger's parents are both presently forbidden from speaking to the media because of a gag order that was issued in October at the time of the ruling.

Per the terms of the order, Jeff Younger's website, SaveJames, had to be shut down. Yet a Facebook page of the same name and a blog called SJSaveThousands is being run by friends of the family with the goal of rescuing both James and thousands of other children facing medical gender transitioning in similar situations but whose stories are not widely known. 

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