BOISE, Idaho — The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has become the first circuit in the nation to order a state to pay for an inmate's gender confirmation surgery, ruling Monday that a three-judge panel decision from August will stand.
A three-judge panel of the appellate court first ruled in August that the state must give the inmate gender confirmation surgery, agreeing with a federal judge in Idaho that denying the surgery amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.
The state then asked the full appeals court to reconsider the case — but the court voted against the move. But several judges expressed concern with the underlying ruling.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little issued the following statement in response to ruling:
“I am disappointed the majority of the Ninth Circuit declined to reverse its flawed decision. I am encouraged, however, that several judges recognized in dissenting opinions that the decision conflicts with decisions of multiple other circuits, goes well-beyond the Eighth Amendment’s text and original meaning, and is contrary to more than four decades of Supreme Court precedent. I remain committed to appealing this case to the U.S. Supreme Court — that effort is already under way — and to ensuring that Idaho taxpayers do not have to pay for a procedure that is not medically necessary.”