Mar 11, 2012
SCOTUS may hear challenge to state ban on use of prison funds for treatments for transgender prisoners
SCOTUS may hear Smith v Fields, which involves an Eighth Amendment and Equal Protection Clause challenge to a Wisconsin state law prohibiting the use of public funds for hormonal therapy or sex-reassignment surgery for transgender prison inmates. The United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit upheld the district court’s ruling that the law violated transgender prisoner’s right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. The case has been re-listed.
The issues in the case are:
(1) Whether the Seventh Circuit erred by upholding an injunction against a state law prohibiting the use of public funds to finance sexual reassignment surgery for inmates; and (2) whether the Eighth Amendment requires state prisons to treat gender identity disorder with hormone therapy to make an inmate look more like the opposite gender.
The Seventh Circuit judgment can be found at Bloomberg Law.