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  • Writer's pictureAction Idaho

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden Helps Build Idaho’s Transgender Empire

The transgender movement seeks to gain public recognition for their revolution. Those who call themselves trans do not simply want to live as trans. All others around them must affirm their trans identity. They want corporations to recognize that people have many, many genders. Mostly they aim to secure government recognition. When schools, prisons and other government agencies recognize that people can change their genders, it is thought that the people will eventually fall in line.

How public officials react to transgender radicalism ends up shaping how a state’s culture is affected by this revolution.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has responded with ineffective, half-hearted opposition that has translated into support for the transgender movements in Idaho.

Twice Attorney General Wasden has faced the test. And twice he has, in effect, shown his support for transgender rights.

The first instance came in 2017-2020 when an Idaho prisoner, Adree Edmo sued the Idaho Department of Corrections. Edmo was in prison for sexually-abusing a 15-year-old boy. The convicted child abuser wanted gender reassignment surgery, but the state prison system refused. Edmo sued the state and its prison health care provider in federal court for violating his 8th Amendment protection against “cruel and unusual punishment.”

The legal brief prepared under Wasden’s supervision referred throughout to Edmo as a “she,” though Wasden’s department officially opposed state-funded gender reassignment surgery for the prisoner. Twenty times the brief refers to Edmo as a she. “She remained frustrated by her genitalia,” according to the brief, for example. The brief also refers to “her arrest” and “her 2021 incarceration.” Wasden’s brief gave away the case by accepting the transgender view of identity.

Wasden’s group lost in the 9th circuit. The Supreme Court refused to hear Idaho’s appeal of the decision, with Justices Alito and Thomas hoping to hear the case. With the aid of Attorney General Wasden’s incompetence, there now seems to be a constitutional right to gender reassignment therapy for state prisons.

The transgender empire is built through this action. Idaho’s state sovereignty is also limited, since the state must conform to the demands of the federal government so long as it insists on following such federal laws. Wasden took no further action to try and win this case. In the future, Medicare patients may ask for gender reassignments paid for with public monies. Wasden’s track record shows he will be willing to go along.

The second case is Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. The bill would prevent biological males from participating in female sports on athletic teams associated with Idaho public schools, including at the college level. While the bill was under consideration, the Attorney General’s office was asked to provide advisory opinions about its legality. Wasden’s Office issued an analysis showing concerns about “the defensibility of the proposed legislation” under the federal Constitution. The analysis from Wasden’s Office treated transgender rights as already established constitutional rights and as a type of “sex-based discrimination,” though the Supreme Court never had weighed in on transgender rights. From this premise, it is very difficult to defend Idaho’s law under the national laws.

Despite Wasden’s analysis, Idaho’s legislature passed the Fairness in Sports Act. It was reluctantly signed into law by Gov. Brad Little. Just as in the case of the 2022 Heartbeat Bill, Little supported the bill while also showing that he did not much like it. “I am not a big discrimination guy,” Little had said while discussing the bill with local reporters.

The ACLU and the Legal Voice filed suit against Idaho’s government in April 2020. The District Court issued a preliminary injunction against the Fairness in Sports Act in August 2020. The case is still pending before the Ninth Circuit, though arguments were made in May 2021.

Hecox v. Little, as the case is known, attracted much attention. A group of fourteen states issue a friend of the court brief to support Idaho’s Attorney General. The oral arguments are here. The decision is pending.

Attorney General Lawrence Wadsen has, in both these cases, tried to accommodate the public claims of transgender advocates. His willingness to accommodate them puts his office at extreme disadvantage when it must defend Idaho’s sensible laws. Imagine the kind of damage his approach would yield if he won four more years at Idaho’s Attorney General.


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