Well worth it to ensure constitutional rights are preserved

You think you know where I’m going with this but you better sit down and buckle up your chinstrap.  This is one of those stories that I could never understand if I lived for a million years and read a billion law books.

Judge: State must pay more than $700,000 in legal fees to attorneys of convicted murderer who wants sex change surgery

A federal judge said today that he would award more than $700,000 in legal fees to the team of lawyers who represented Michelle Kosilek, the convicted murderer who sued the state for a sex change operation to treat her gender identity disorder.

Chief US District Judge Mark L. Wolf said from the bench in court in Boston that he recognized the cost to taxpayers, but he said the costs derived from a hard-fought lawsuit to preserve Kosilek’s constitutional rights.

He noted that while the state Department of Correction is appealing his decision to order the surgery, Kosilek’s legal team has offered to dismiss their request for legal fees if the state drops the appeal and pays for the surgery.

“Resistance at all costs can end up costing the taxpayers quite a lot,” the judge said, adding that the Department of Correction has had to pay hundreds of thousands in legal fees to lawyers in other cases in which the department violated prisoners’ constitutional rights.

What in tarnation is wrong with Massachusetts?  What the hell is wrong with our legal system?

From Wiki:

Michelle Kosilek (born c. 1955) is a convicted murderer who has repeatedly sued the Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC) seeking medical treatment for gender identity disorder.

In 1990, Kosilek, who was then known by his birth name Robert Kosilek, strangled his wife Cheryl McCaul. Kosilek was sentenced to serve a life sentence without parole in Norfolk, Massachusetts.

Kosilek has been diagnosed with gender identity disorder and identifies as female. In 2000 Kosilek sued the Massachusetts DOC, claiming ‘violation of rights’ under the Eighth Amendment, winning that suit in 2002 and obtaining hormone replacement therapy and psychotherapy for the condition.

In May 2006, Kosilek sued the DOC, arguing that refusing to provide sex reassignment surgery constituted “cruel and unusual punishment” under the Eighth Amendment.[1] On September 4, 2012, U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled that the state had violated Kosilek’s constitutional rights by denying sex reassignment surgery, noting that senior correction officials engaged in “pretense, pretext, and prevarication” to deny the treatment. Wolf ordered the DOC to provide Kosilek with the surgery.  The DOC is appealing the decision.[4]

You know, we’re often asked to consider what the Founding Fathers would think about the Bill of Rights in light of events and technology in today’s America.  I doubt they’d be very impressed by a judge who can with a straight face (see what I did there) rule it is cruel and unusual when a convicted prisoner is told, “No, we’re not going to split and scrape your dong like a vanilla bean so it can be sewed into a hoohaw.”

Holy guacamole.

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  • jim_m

    This is the same state that prosecuted the Fell’s Acre Daycare case and sent people to prison for crimes that were never committed. The prosecution drummed into the heads of little children that horrible atrocities were performed upon them and those children still bear the scars, not from the daycare teachers, but from the prosecutors who were the real criminals.

    Massachusetts has a seriously messed up government.

    • Commander_Chico

      Just would point out that this is federal law in a federal court, so the decision has little to do with the politics of Massachusetts itself, and nothing to do with the government of Massachusetts, which is actually the defendant fighting the decision.

      Judge Wolf was appointed by Ronald Reagan. By most accounts, he’s a pretty good judge.

    • Brucehenry

      Same kind of thing happened with Little Rascal’s Daycare in Edenton, NC in the late 80s.

      • Commander_Chico

        And the MacMartin preschool in California. Dorothy Rabinowitz wrote some good stuff back then for the WSJ on these cases.

        • jim_m

          The 80’s were a good time for corrupt DA’s to make their careers. At least in the Mass case I think it may have proven to be the margin that cost Martha Coakley the Senate race.

        • Brucehenry

          I met the Little Rascal’s guy a couple of years after his whole world was ruined. Or rather, a couple of years after the years-long period in which his life was ruined had ended. He was a mess. I wonder what happened to him. I hope he salvaged something of his life. The injustice of it all rankled me.

          As far as I know, there were never any negative consequences for the idiot prosecutors who ruined his life and the lives of several other defendants in the case.

          • Ja, prosecutorial misconduct is very rarely punished regardless of how egregious or how many innocent lives are ruined.

    • Brian_R_Allen

      “Massachusetts has a seriously messed up government.”

      Massachusetts has the government its translocated Bog-Mick population deserves!

      • Commander_Chico

        Anti-Irish prejudice is kind of nostalgic, isn’t it?

        Kind of like going back to 1870.

        • Brian_R_Allen

          1870? Seems like just last week. <]:^)~<

          And: Not for this descendant of Brian Boru:.

  • GarandFan

    So who would be paying for Kosilek’s surgery if he were not incarcerated?

    And the good judge should be asked, “since when is the taxpayer on the hook for ELECTIVE surgery?”

  • Conservachef

    “No, we’re not going to split and scrape your dong like a vanilla bean so it can be sewed into a hoohaw.”

    Now that’s funny, I don’t care who you are.

  • Some guys will do ANYTHING to get into the Women’s section of a prison.


  • I have a “wealth identity disorder.” I identify as a millionaire, so when can I expect the courts to force the state to fork over my money?

    • Brian_R_Allen

      Me, too. Keep me posted, eh?

  • jim_m

    Simple solution. Convict him of something else and sentence him to having a sex change. Left wing lawyers will line up challenging it as cruel and unusual punishment and his procedure will be held up for years.