© 2023 Boise State Public Radio
NPR in Idaho
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Idaho's New Transgender Birth Certificate Law Defies Federal Court Order, Judge Says

James Dawson
Boise State Public Radio
State Rep. Julianne Young (R-Blackfoot) sponsored the birth certificate ban bill this past legislative session.

A federal judge has found a new Idaho law that blocks transgender people from changing the sex on their birth certificate violates one of her previous rulings from two years ago blocking such policies.

Judge Candy Dale on Friday wrote that the law that was approved by Idaho’s Republican supermajority in the legislature and Gov. Brad Little in March provided no “meaningful” way for transgender people to match their birth certificates with their gender identity.

During a hearing earlier last month, the state argued that there was a path to do so: a transgender person who had previously altered the sex listed on their birth certificate could change it back to the sex that was assigned to them at birth.

By definition, that person would no longer be transgender.

“The hollow examples offered by IDHW during the hearing on Plaintiffs’ motion do not apply to transgender individuals and, instead, only further demonstrate that no transgender individual can obtain the requisite court order,” Dale wrote in her order.

Two years ago, Dale found a similar state policy unconstitutional and permanently blocked any future automatic ban on birth certificate changes the state, or the legislature, might try to put in place.

Her ruling Friday did not address the constitutionality of the new law.

“When you treat the federal court like a doormat, there are going to be consequences,” said Nora Huppert, an attorney for Lamda Legal, who argued the case. “The rule of law comes to a grinding halt if government officials can act as if they are above the law that the rest of us are expected to follow.”

The Idaho Attorney General's Office declined to comment.

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

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

Copyright 2020 Boise State Public Radio

Member support is what makes local COVID-19 reporting possible. Support this coverage here.

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!

You make stories like this possible.

The biggest portion of Boise State Public Radio's funding comes from readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

Your donation today helps make our local reporting free for our entire community.