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Elizabeth Warren disagrees with judge’s sex-change ruling

US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren voted Thursday in the Massachusetts state primary election at the Graham & Parks School in Cambridge.

Stephan Savoia/Associated Press

US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren voted Thursday in the Massachusetts state primary election at the Graham & Parks School in Cambridge.

Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren said today she disagrees with a federal judge’s decision to grant a convicted killer’s request for a sex-change operation.

“I have to say, I don’t think it’s a good use of taxpayer dollars,” Warren, a Harvard Law School professor, said in an interview on WTKK-FM.

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US District Court Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf granted the sex-change operation for Michelle Kosilek, ruling Tuesday that the treatment is the only adequate remedy for the inmate’s gender identity disorder. Wolf said the only arguments for denying the operation were based on public bias against the surgery.

Warren’s Republican opponent, Senator Scott Brown, denounced the ruling on the day it was issued. In a statement, he called it “an outrageous abuse of taxpayer dollars.”

In today’s interview, Warren also defended her claims to Native American heritage, and rejected Brown’s contention that she used those claims to advance her legal career. She pointed out that people who have hired or recruited her to law schools have said her ethnicity played no role in their decisions.

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“It’s what I know, and it’s what I know about my family, but I did not take any advantage of it,” Warren said.

The first-time candidate also reflected on how nervous she was about speaking at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

“Yeah, I was nervous. Are you kidding?” she said. As she strode onto the stage in prime-time, she said she felt she would be OK, “If I can make it to the podium without falling down and knocking out my two front teeth.”

Michael Levenson can be reached at mlevenson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mlevenson.
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