Federal Court Rules Against Wisconsin in Transsexual Prisoner Cases

newyorklawschool.typepad.com – Leonard Link

Chief U.S. District Judge Charles N. Clevert, Jr., issued two lengthy opinions this month rejecting the state of Wisconsin’s stance on medical treatment for transsexual prison inmates. In one case, Fields v. Smith, 2010 Westlaw 1929819 (E.D.Wis., May 13, 2010), Judge Clevert provided the detailed discussion promised earlier in a short order he had issued finding that the state had violated the 8th and 14th Amendment rights of transsexual prisoners by legislating that such prisoners could not be provided with hormones as a treatment for their gender identity disorder. In the other, Konitzer v. Frank, 2010 Westlaw 1904776 (E.D.Wis., May 10, 2010), the judge rejected the state’s motion for summary judgment as to all but one of the claims asserted by a transsexual inmate concerning the refusal of prison authorities to allow the inmate to live as a woman, the lone exception being the judge’s determination that the inmate’s constitutional rights would not be violated by the prison adhering to a requirement that the inmate only be subjected to strip and pat-down searches by male corrections officers.