- - Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Aside from the prospect of getting to choose a replacement for octogenarian liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, furthering a much-needed makeover of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals might well be the single most compelling reason to reelect President Trump in November.

Although Mr. Trump has already made significant headway in reshaping the federal district and appellate courts with the appointment of scores of strict constructionists — including 10 of the 49 judges on the 9th Circuit — that circuit still has a narrow majority of liberal judges appointed by Democratic presidents.

That was shamefully underscored by the unanimous ruling, in Edmo v. Corizon, of a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit, which held that Idaho must pay for sex-change surgery for a transgender prison inmate, Adree (nee Mason) Edmo, 32, a biological male and convicted sex offender. (Edmo has been incarcerated since 2012 after being convicted of sexually assaulting a sleeping 15-year-old boy.) All three of the judges in the case were appointed by President Clinton, refuting a naive November 2018 assertion by Chief Justice John Roberts.

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Justice Roberts tut-tutted after Mr. Trump criticized a ruling from a liberal judge appointed by President Obama. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them,” Justice Roberts averred.

If by “doing their level best,” Justice Roberts meant doing their level best at liberal virtue-signaling, he was spot on in this case. The three Clintonites — Judges M. Margaret McKeown, Ronald Gould and Robert Lasnik — acceded to using Edmo’s lawyers’ euphemistic nomenclature for a sex-change operation, “gender confirmation surgery,” 180 times in their 83-page opinion.

If that weren’t politically correct enough, they referred to Edmo using female pronouns and twice referenced “her [emphasis ours] testicles” in citing Edmo’s attempts at self-castration. News flash: Real women don’t have testicles and to suggest otherwise is the denial of chromosome science.

Idaho had petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule the Clinton troika’s decision, but the justices on May 21 declined to hear the case. Justice Roberts, along with Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch (the latter two appointed by Mr. Trump), were inexplicably and inexcusably MIA as the court sidestepped the issue. Had they joined Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito in agreeing to hear Idaho’s appeal of the Aug. 23 ruling, this travesty could have been stopped cold. But, as is common, the high court didn’t explain why it refused Idaho’s request for a stay of the lower court’s ruling.

The Clinton judges’ decision held that Idaho corrections officials had violated the 8th Amendment of the Constitution barring cruel and unusual punishments by withholding the treatment. We seriously doubt that denying taxpayer funding of a sex-change operation constituted what the Founders sought to outlaw as cruel and unusual punishment.

Nevertheless, if Edmo wants a sex-change operation, (s)he certainly can have one. It just shouldn’t be on the Idaho taxpayers’ dime. According to figures compiled by the Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery, Edmo’s procedure will cost a bare minimum of $41,300 or as much as $186,100 with all the head-to-toe cosmetic extras.

The National Lesbian Rights Center, which litigated the case on Edmo’s behalf, could have tapped the well-heeled LGBTQ lobby to pay for Edmo’s operation and the accompanying hormone treatments, rather than stick the hardworking taxpayers of Idaho with the tab. The disingenuous protestations of Edmo’s lawyers to the contrary notwithstanding, the ruling does in fact set a dangerous precedent for other gender-confused prison inmates elsewhere to demand taxpayers pony up for them to go under the knife.

That brings us back to why Mr. Trump should be reelected.

The campaign platform of his likely Democratic rival in November, Joe Biden, embraces the entire LGBTQ agenda, including advocating for this utterly inappropriate expenditure of federal tax dollars — and not only for federal inmates. Joe Biden’s campaign website states that, as president, he would “ensure all transgender inmates in federal correctional facilities have access to appropriate doctors and medical care — including OB-GYNs and hormone therapy.”

Mr. Biden would also “ensure that LGBTQ+ individuals have full access to all appropriate health care treatments and resources.”

“This includes covering care related to transitioning — including gender confirmation surgery” under Obamacare.

That’s reason enough that voters should never allow Mr. Biden again to sit in the Oval Office. The Trump campaign should make an issue of this in its attack ads and call on Congress to pass legislation expressly prohibiting federal taxpayers’ dollars from being spent on transgender surgery, in much the same way the Hyde Amendment has banned federal funding of abortion since the mid-1970s.

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