After losing a legal battle over whether Massachusetts must provide sex-change surgery to a transgender prison inmate, the state should take the opportunity to minimize its monetary exposure.
Earlier this month, federal district Judge Mark Wolf ordered the state to provide the surgery to Michelle Kosilek, an inmate serving a life sentence for murder. However bizarre the case seems on its face, Wolf argued persuasively that it met the relevant legal and medical standards for requiring the operation. And now that Wolf has ruled that Kosilek is entitled to legal fees, the state is on the hook for much more than the cost of the operation.
Fortunately, Kosilek’s attorneys have given the state an incentive to end the legal battle. They’ve offered to waive their fees if the state opts not to appeal. This is a sensible way to make the outcome of the case more palatable to the public. The state should take the deal.