LEXIE CANNES STATE OF CANNES — UPDATE May 5, 2015: It’s over. No SRS for Michelle Kosilek. The long saga of transgender inmate Kosilek ended this week when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal. From the Boston Herald:
“The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Michelle Kosilek’s argument that not allowing the procedure is unconstitutional and let stand an appeals court ruling that denied the surgery in December. That decision overturned a 2012 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf, who ordered the surgery.
The Supreme Court justices did not issue any comments in their decision to not hear the case.”
UPDATE Dec. 16, 2014 — Not so fast there, says the First Circuit Court. They’ve now reversed themselves saying that Kosilek has ‘access to adequate treatment” and surgery is now not needed.
From ThinkProgress: “Back in January, a First Circuit panel concluded that Michelle Kosilek, a Massachusetts transgender inmate convicted of murdering her wife, should receive the sex reassignment surgery (SRS) she had been prescribed by her doctors and fought for in court for nearly two decades. The Department of Corrections (DOC) continued to oppose providing the treatment, appealing the case to an en banc hearing by the First Circuit. On Tuesday, the First Circuit reversed the previous decisions, allowing the DOC to deny surgery to Kosilek, and presumably all transgender inmates henceforth.”
Zack Ford of ThinkProgress believes the new ruling is bogus: http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2014/12/16/3604363/transgender-inmate-first-circuit/
UPDATED Jan. 18 2014: Higher court upholds ruling allowing SRS surgery for prisoner Michelle Kosilek. From ABC News:
“A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a judge’s ruling granting a taxpayer-funded sex change operation for a transgender inmate serving a life sentence for a murder conviction, saying receiving medically necessary treatment is a constitutional right that must be protected “even if that treatment strikes some as odd or unorthodox.”
U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled in 2012 that the state Department of Correction must provide sex reassignment surgery for Michelle Kosilek . . .”
Original story: U.S. District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf, concerned that the state of Massachusetts is dragging its heels, stepped up enforcement of his order to prep for the sex reassignment surgery (SRS) of trans inmate Michelle Kosilek.
As you may recall, Judge Wolf earlier ruled that withholding SRS for Kosilek amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. (Note: this ruling only applies to Kosilek, not all transgender inmates in Massachusetts). More on the Kosilek case here (several articles): https://lexiecannes.wordpress.com/?s=kosilek
According to a brief news report in the Boston Herald and the Mansfield Patch, last week, Judge Wolf ordered the corrections chief to submit a monthly report signed under oath on the status of the preparations. Judge Wolf has apparently put the actual surgery on hold while the state appeals its case, but wants the preparations completed.
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