In yet another encroachment by the feds onto states’ rights territory, a federal judge ruled this week that Missouri taxpayers must foot the bill for a transgender murder convict’s hormone therapy and "gender affirming hygiene products" – despite the fact that he’d already been incarcerated for 20 years before deciding he was a “she.”
Jessica Hicklin, born James Hicklin, was convicted at age 16 and imprisoned for life without parole in 1995 for first degree murder after killing a man during a drug deal. Twenty years later, in 2015, now-Jessica was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and demanded the Missouri prison system start providing him with estrogen injections and floral-scented body wash.
But apparently there was a discrepancy in the state’s policy regarding trans prisoners. If an inmate had already begun treatment for gender dysphoria before getting locked up, the state would continue the therapy. If the inmate was diagnosed while in prison, though, not so much.
And here’s where it gets even more interesting, particularly for those of us who think states’ rights still amount to more than a hill of beans. While U.S. law mandates a trans inmate in federal prison must receive therapy regardless of when they’re diagnosed, state laws vary regarding trans inmates held in state penitentiaries.
But rather than simply allow a state to control its own prison system’s health care policies, a federal judge ruled Thursday that the Missouri Department of Corrections must start providing Hicklin with whatever helps him channel his inner goddess.
And the St. Louis Post Dispatch notes that doesn’t just include drugs. Here’s what Missouri taxpayers are now on the hook for:
That treatment includes hormone therapy, permanent body hair removal and access to “gender-affirming” hygienic products and other products from the prison commissary store. Those products are not typically available at the all-male Potosi prison, according to the lawsuit.
Demoya Gordon, an attorney for the LGBT activist organization Lambda Legal, said the court ruling will spare Hicklin from further “abuse.”
"The court's decision to strike down this policy will save Ms. Hicklin from pain and anguish and spare so many others from the same abuse," she said.