Federal Judge Applies Equal Protection “Intermediate Scrutiny” to Denial of Gender Appropriate Items to Transgender Prisoners

California settled a lawsuit brought by transgender prisoner Shiloh Quinn, a/k/a Rodney James Quine in 2016 and she had gender reassignment surgery earlier this year. Her continuing problems in custody after surgery were reported recently. See Law Notes (March 2017 at pages 169-70). As part of Quine’s lawsuit, California agreed to adopt statewide standards addressing myriad transgender issues. See “California Adopts Guidelines for Prisoner Requests for Sex Reassignment Surgery,” Law Notes (November 2015 at page 489). The agreement also left some areas unaddressed, with leave to return to court for resolution of the latter. U.S. Magistrate Judge Nandor J. Vadas, who has supervision over the consent decree, ruled on some of the issues in June of 2016, as reported in Law Notes (Summer 2016 at page 307). That ruling, and other issues, are now addressed in Quine v. Beard, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65276, 2017 WL 1540758 (N.D. Calif., April 28, 2017), by U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar, who granted in part and denied in part Quine’s motion to enforce the consent decree.

The first two issues involved construction of the consent decree: who is covered and who decides.

For the full story, access the June 2017 issue of LGBT Law Notes.