Adree Edmo jail portrait

Idaho inmate Adree Edmo is at the center of controversy after a judge ruled the state must pay for Edmo’s requested gender confirmation surgery. Gov. Brad Little says he’s prepared to take the case to the Supreme Court.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today denied the state of Idaho's request for a rehearing in the case of Adree Edmo, a transgender woman being held in a male prison in Idaho, after a three-judge panel earlier order the state to provide Edmo with gender confirmation surgery; you can read our full story here by reporter Tommy Simmons at (subscription required). or pick up Wednesday's edition of the Idaho Press.

Gov. Brad Little vowed to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying he'll file a request for the high court to hear the case within 90 days. Here is Little's full statement, issued this afternoon:

“I am disappointed the majority of the Ninth Circuit declined to reverse its flawed decision. I am encouraged, however, that several judges recognized in dissenting opinions that the decision conflicts with decisions of multiple other circuits, goes well-beyond the Eighth Amendment’s text and original meaning, and is contrary to more than four decades of Supreme Court precedent. I remain committed to appealing this case to the U.S. Supreme Court — that effort is already under way — and to ensuring that Idaho taxpayers do not have to pay for a procedure that is not medically necessary,"

Little noted that the decision includes two opinions totaling more than 40 pages that criticize the original panel’s decision, and said a total of 10 9th Circuit judges concurred in those.

The dissenting opinion was authored by Judge Patrick Bumatay, who was confirmed to his seat on the court by the U.S. Senate in December; six other judges joined Bumatay's opinion in whole or in part. Senior Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain authored a separate opinion also criticizing the three-judge panel’s decision and reasoning, and was joined by eight other judges. O'Scannlain was appointed by President Reagan in 1986.

The 9th Circuit has 29 authorized judgeships.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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