31-year-old inmate Adree Edmo is a man who identifies as a woman. Edmo is currently serving a three to ten year sentence for “sexual abuse of a child.” Edmo seems to think she is the victim, and the Idaho Statesman Reported on the ongoing legal battle:
In 2017 Edmo sued the Idaho Department of Correction and its medical provider, Corizon, contending that the state’s refusal to provide her with gender confirmation surgery amounts to cruel and unusual punishment and causes severe distress because she has gender dysphoria. The condition occurs when the incongruity between a person’s assigned gender and their gender identity is so drastic that it impairs their ability to function.
The U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill “ruled in Edmo’s favor and ordered the state to provide the surgery.” The state then appealed to the 9th Circuit. The appeal concluded last week and the 9th Circuit “concurred with Winmill” saying denying the surgery “amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, a violation of the U.S. Constitution.”
In an 85-page opinion, the 9th Circuit called upon the Eighth Amendment as its defense:
We apply the dictates of the Eighth Amendment today in an area of increased social awareness: transgender healthcare…Our court and others have been considering Eighth Amendment claims brought by transgender prisoners for decades. During that time, the medial community’s understanding of what treatments are safe and medially necessary to treat gender dysphoria has changed as more information becomes available, research is undertaken, and experience is gained.
Idaho Governor Brad Little said the state will appeal to the United States Supreme Court. If the state is forced to do surgery on Edmo, it will be the first time in the nation’s history an inmate has undergone gender reassignment surgery while in custody.