As is common, the Supreme Court did not give a reason for refusing Idaho’s request for a stay of the lower court’s order. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. would have granted the stay.
“Idaho will sustain irreparable harm because Idaho taxpayers will have been forced to fund a controversial surgery that Edmo’s treating doctor determined in good faith was not medically necessary,” Idaho Attorney General Lawrence G. Wasden wrote in his application to the court.
“This case is a fact-intensive dispute about whether a particular treatment is medically necessary for one individual” and whether the state’s expert treating Edmo was “deliberately indifferent to her serious medical needs and ongoing risk of harm,” wrote lawyer Lori Rifkin.
In prison, Edmo has twice attempted to self-castrate to remove her testicles and eliminate testosterone in her body. A prison psychiatrist, Scott Eliason, treated Edmo with counseling and hormone therapy but said surgery should wait. Edmo could be released next year.
A panel of the 9th Circuit said that a diagnosis of gender dysphoria will not always be enough to secure a mandate of surgery. But looking specifically at the facts in Edmo’s case, the panel wrote that “responsible prison officials [denied] such treatment with full awareness of the prisoner’s suffering” in violation of the Eighth Amendment.