February 11, 2020
Governor Little comments on Ninth Circuit’s decision in transgender inmate’s sex-reassignment surgery case
Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little issued the following statement today in response to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision to deny the State of Idaho’s request to rehear the decision of a three-judge panel ordering the state to provide Idaho inmate Adree Edmo with sex-reassignment surgery.
“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,” Governor Little said.
The decision includes two opinions totaling more than 40 pages that criticize the original panel’s decision to force the state to provide the surgery. Those opinions are joined by a total of 10 Ninth Circuit judges. Judge Patrick Bumatay, who was confirmed to his seat on the court by the U.S. Senate in December, authored the dissenting opinion, which was joined in whole or in part by six other judges. Senior judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain authored a separate opinion also criticizing the three-judge panel’s decision and reasoning, and was joined by eight other judges. Judge O’Scannlain has been on the bench for more than 30 years and was appointed by President Reagan in 1986.