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Gov. Little goes on Fox News, blasts transgender inmate surgery ruling

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that denying Adree Edmo the surgery amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.
Credit: IDOC
Adree Edmo could soon become the first Idaho inmate to receive gender confirmation surgery while in Idaho Department of Correction custody.

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Gov. Brad Little took to the airwaves Wednesday to blast a recent federal court ruling that states Idaho must provide gender confirmation surgery to a transgender inmate.

Adree Edmo, 31, has been living as a woman for years but remains housed in an Idaho men's prison.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier this month that denying Edmo the surgery amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, a violation of the Eight Amendment.

Little told Fox News that Idaho "heartily disagrees" with the 9th Circuit Court's ruling and will take its case to the U.S. Supreme Court. He says this sets a "bad precedent."

"The hardworking taxpayers of Idaho should not be forced to pay for a convicted sex offender's gender reassignment surgery when it is contrary to the medical opinions of the treating physician and multiple mental health professionals," Little said in a statement.

RELATED: Court: Idaho must give transgender inmate gender surgery

Edmo would be the first Idaho inmate to receive this type of surgery while in custody of the Idaho Department of Correction.

Edmo has been housed in a men's prison since 2012.  She is serving time for sexually abusing a child younger than 16 and is scheduled for release in 2021.

LIttle says "this is another example of an activist court getting in the middle of something and creating a precedent, it's gonna be expensive for the taxpayers of Idaho, and potentially all the taxpayers of United States."

MORE: Appellate court to hear transgender inmate's surgery lawsuit

Edmo is seeking monetary damages from the state and its contractors for violations of her Constitutional rights.

U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled in December that the state had six months to provide Edmo with the surgery. It was put off while the state appealed. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling in August.

Idaho's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court makes the timeframe for Edmo's surgery unclear. 

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