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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.

I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!
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.