Looking at the recently delivered findings and conclusions in Brandt et al. v. Rutledge et al., full text here. On pp. 56-57 of the PDF, one of the expert witnesses is discussed (emphasis added):
Dr. Levine was the State’s only expert witness who has experience treating patients with gender dysphoria. In his practice, he has enabled minor patients with gender dysphoria to access hormone therapy on a case-by-case basis. (Tr. 785:3-6, ECF No. 246 (Levine)).
Dr. Levine does not support banning gender-affirming medical care for adolescents with gender dysphoria. He has concerns about Act 626’s impact on youth who are currently receiving gender-affirming hormones.
Dr. Levine testified that doctors who provide gender-affirming medical care to adolescents with gender dysphoria encourage patients to identify as transgender and provide hormones immediately without assessing patients and addressing other mental health conditions or informing patients and their parents of the risks and the limitations of the evidence regarding treatments. Id. at 809:18- 810:4; 811:21-812:10; 824:5-14 (Levine). He offered no evidence that treatment was being provided this way in Arkansas or anywhere in the United States. Dr. Levine conceded he has no knowledge of how most gender clinics provide care and, thus, does not know how common it is for care to be provided in the way he described. Id. at 887:19-888:25 (Levine). He further does not know how care is provided by doctors in Arkansas. Id. at 888:24-891:16 (Levine).
The Court found Dr. Levine a very credible witness who struggles with the conflict between his scientific understanding for the need for transgender care and his faith.
From p. 60:
The legislative findings in Act 626 assert that there is insufficient evidence of the efficacy of gender-affirming medical care for minors. Some of the state’s expert witnesses—Dr. Levine and Dr. Hruz—offered opinions to that effect. (Tr. 833:12-16, ECF No. 246 (Levine); Tr. 1274:15-25, ECF No. 249 (Hruz)). The Court does not credit these opinions because it finds that the evidence showed that decades of clinical experience in addition to a body of scientific research demonstrate the effectiveness of these treatments.
The State argues that minors with gender dysphoria will desist with age. They contend that there is a significant risk of harm to a minor who elects to undergo gender hormone therapy or surgery because they will eventually identify with their sex assigned at birth and regret the treatment they sought as a minor. The State offered the testimony of Dr. Levine to support this argument. The Court found Dr. Levine’s testimony to be inconsistent and unreliable in this area. To the contrary, the evidence proved that there is broad consensus in the field that once adolescents reach the early stages of puberty and experience gender dysphoria, it is very unlikely they will subsequently identify as cisgender or desist. (Tr. 310:13-25, ECF No. 220 (Turban)).
In this context, what does it mean to describe a witness as "very credible", and yet not to credit their evidence? The court clearly had significant doubts about the accuracy of his testimony, the findings note his lack of knowledge on key points, and that his testimony was in some areas "inconsistent and unreliable". How do those reconcile?
Does "credible" here mean "comes with good credentials" (e.g. his experience treating trans children) rather than "gave evidence that should be credited"? Or is there some other nuance here?
(I'm not looking for discussion on the merits of the case, only on how this description of a witness reconciles with the assessment of his evidence.)