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U.S. Supreme Court Denies Idaho's Request To Halt Surgery To Transgender Inmate

Black and Pink

In a 7-2 ruling, the United States Supreme Court has denied Idaho’s appeal to halt the sex reassignment surgery of a transgender inmate.

Last August the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the state of Idaho to provide gender confirmation surgery to transgender inmate Adree Edmo. Idaho appealed that ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court and asked it to put Edmo's surgery on hold.

Edmo is a transgender woman housed in an all-male prison in Idaho. She has tried to castrate herself twice while incarcerated. Edmo says she needs the surgery to treat her gender dysphoria — that's when a person's gender identity conflicts with their sex assigned at birth.

The 9th Circuit Court ruled that denying Edmo the treatment is cruel and unusual punishment, and ordered the state to provide it. Prison doctors countered it wasn't medically necessary.

The Supreme Court's denial of the state's appeal means Edmo can continue to receive presurgical treatments – and even the surgery itself – while the country’s highest court decides whether it will take up the case.

The high court could still overturn the 9th Circuit ruling if it decides to hear Idaho's appeal. However legal experts say that's unlikely given the decision to not grant a stay of Edmo's surgery, which is now scheduled to take place in July.

You can listen to every aspect of the Adree Edmo case in our investigative podcast LOCKED here.

It will be the first court-ordered gender confirmation surgery of a prison inmate in the nation.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back frequently for updates.

Copyright 2021 Boise State Public Radio News. To see more, visit Boise State Public Radio News.

Amanda Peacher is an Arthur F. Burns fellow reporting and producing in Berlin in 2013. Amanda is from Portland, Oregon, where she works as the public insight journalist for Oregon Public Broadcasting. She produces radio and online stories, data visualizations, multimedia projects, and facilitates community engagement opportunities for OPB's newsroom.
James Dawson joined Boise State Public Radio as the organization's News Director in 2017. He oversees the station's award-winning news department. Most recently, he covered state politics and government for Delaware Public Media since the station first began broadcasting in 2012 as the country's newest NPR affiliate. Those reports spanned two governors, three sessions of the Delaware General Assembly, and three consequential elections. His work has been featured on All Things Considered and NPR's newscast division. An Idaho native from north of the time zone bridge, James previously served as the public affairs reporter and interim news director for the commercial radio network Inland Northwest Broadcasting. His reporting experience included state and local government, arts and culture, crime, and agriculture. He's a proud University of Idaho graduate with a bachelor's degree in Broadcasting and Digital Media. When he's not in the office, you can find James fly fishing, buffing up on his photography or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season.
Amanda Peacher
Amanda Peacher works for the Mountain West News Bureau out of Boise State Public Radio. She's an Idaho native who returned home after a decade of living and reporting in Oregon. She's an award-winning reporter with a background in community engagement and investigative journalism.
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