Supreme Court Issues Denies Appeal From Catholic Hospital Concerning Transgender Surgery

This past Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States outright rejected an appeal from a Catholic hospital that sought to dismiss a lawsuit that targeted it for refusing a woman who identifies as a man a medical procedure seeking to have a hysterectomy.

“The justices turned away an appeal by Mercy San Juan Medical Center, a Sacramento-area hospital owned by Dignity Health, and let stand a lower court ruling that revived Evan Minton’s lawsuit accusing it of intentionally discriminating against him in violation of California law because he is transgender,” stated Reuters.

Only three justices, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch, were even willing to listen to the appeal from the hospital.

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Back in 2016, the hospital in question, Mercy San Juan Medical Center, scheduled the procedure at first but then changed its position when it found out the reason Minton wanted to go through with the surgery. The lawsuit stated, “The hospital let Minton’s physician perform the procedure at a different facility in its system a few days later,” stated Reuters before adding, “After a trial judge ruled against Minton, a California appeals court in 2019 revived the case, rejecting the hospital’s argument that forcing it to perform procedures contrary to its religious beliefs would violate its right under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment to the free exercise of religion.”

Back in June, the Supreme Court also denied the opportunity to go back on a ruling that permitted students who identify as the opposite sex to use the bathrooms of the opposite sex.

The court outright declined to hear the case of Gavin Grimm, a female student from Virginia who identifies as a male who slammed a lawsuit onto the Gloucester County school board for stating that the bathrooms were “limited to the corresponding biological genders.”

As noted by The Washington Post, “The case initially reached the Supreme Court in 2017, but the argument was canceled after President Trump reversed an Obama administration rule that had directed schools to allow students to use restrooms that correspond with their gender identity.”

Back in May of 2016, the Obama Department of Education stated, “Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and its implementing regulations prohibit sex discrimination in educational programs and activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance. This prohibition encompasses discrimination based on a student’s gender identity, including discrimination based on a student’s transgender status. … A school may provide separate facilities on the basis of sex, but must allow transgender students access to such facilities consistent with their gender identity. A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so.”

However, in February of 2017, the Trump administration Department of Education took back the Obama guidance, writing:

These guidance documents take the position that the prohibitions on discrimination “on the basis of sex” in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., and its implementing regulations, see, e.g., 34 C.F.R. § 106.33, require access to sex-segregated facilities based on gender identity.  These guidance documents do not, however, contain extensive legal analysis or explain how the position is consistent with the express language of Title IX, nor did they undergo any formal public process.

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