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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Prison Transgender Fight Goes On

For John, BLUFI am sure there will be another attempt at an appeal.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The issue of transgendered inmates in prison was in the news again Tuesday.  The article in The Boston Globe took two reports, both Messrs John R. Ellement and Martin Finucane.  The headline read:  "Ruling overturned on sex-change surgery for Mass. inmate"

The lede and subsequent two paragraphs:

A divided federal appeals court in Boston on Tuesday overturned a lower court’s ruling that a transgender Massachusetts prison inmate, convicted of committing a domestic murder, was entitled to taxpayer-funded sex change surgery.

The ruling by the First US Circuit Court of Appeals came after a 2012 ruling by US District Judge Mark Wolf, who ordered the surgery after finding that the state’s failure to provide it violated the inmate’s Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

In January, a three-judge panel of the appeals court upheld Wolf’s 2012 decision, but the state of Massachusetts then asked for an en banc, or full bench, review, which led to Tuesday’s ruling.

My recollection is that when Judge Wolf originally ruled he was a little peeved at the Commonwealth for serious foot dragging on the question of dealing with the needs of a transgendered person in prison.

For us the question is if it is an equal rights issue or a mental health issue or a safety issue or a little bit of each.

Regards  —  Cliff

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