Bench Memos

The Slippery Slope of Transgender Prisoner Rights

Readers who have been following my Bench Memos posts regarding transgender prisoner rights, or my recent article in The American Spectator, “The Delusion of Transgender Prisoner Rights,” may think my “canary in the coal mine” rhetoric was hyperbolic. No, it turns out to be understated. In a matter of months, the State of California has gone from strenuously resisting convicted murderer Jeffrey Norsworthy’s demand for a taxpayer-funded sex-change operation, to paroling him so that Judge Jon Tigar’s ruling in Norsworthy v. Beard (compelling such an operation “as promptly as possible”) would be moot, to agreeing to provide a sex-change operation to another convicted murderer, Rodney Quine (in settlement of his Eighth Amendment lawsuit demanding such a procedure), to announcing a new policy that will make all transgender inmates in California state prisons (375 male prisoners and 26 female prisoners are currently receiving “hormone therapy” for “gender dysphoria”) eligible for state-funded sex-reassignment surgery (estimated to cost $100,000 apiece) if they meet certain basic criteria.

Flor Bermudez, a lawyer at the Oakland-based Transgender Law Center, called the new policy “a great victory for transgender people across the country,” and proclaimed “I think it’s a model that other jurisdictions can follow.” Heaven help us.

Most Popular


How States Like Virginia Go Blue

So this is what it feels like to live in a lab experiment. As a native Virginian, I’ve watched my state come full circle. The last time Democrats enjoyed the amount of power in the Old Dominion that they won on Tuesday, I was entering middle school in Fairfax County. In 1993 the governor was a Democrat, one ... Read More
Books, Arts & Manners

Why Study Latin?

Oxford professor Nicola Gardini urges people to read and study Latin. He believes that Latin is the antidote for the modern age, which seems transfixed by the spontaneous, the easy, and the ephemeral. His new book, Long Live Latin: The Pleasures of a Useless Language, argues that Latin combines truth and ... Read More