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Monday, April 15, 2024

SCOOP: DOJ Supporting Baby-Killing Inmate’s Lawsuit for Taxpayer-Funded Sex Change

'I have soiled myself rather than go to the bathroom, as I just do not want to see or deal with my genitals...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The Justice Department filed a court brief Tuesday in support of a lawsuit from transgender inmate Jonathan C. Richardson, who now goes by the name “Autumn Cordellionè” and is serving a 55-year sentence for killing Richardson’s infant stepdaughter.

Richardson, who identifies as an “Islamic-practicing transwoman,” first sued the Indiana Department of Correction last August in federal court after the state passed a law banning prisoners from receiving sexual reassignment surgery. The baby-killer’s lawsuit is being litigated by the American Civil Liberties Union.

ACLU Lawsuit

Richardson and the ACLU seek to have a federal court declare that Indiana’s law is unconstitutional, as well as an order for Richardson to receive a sex change.

“For some persons, including Plaintiff, the surgery is a medical necessity. By prohibiting the surgery, regardless of medical need, the statute mandates deliberate indifference to a serious medical need and therefore violates the Eighth Amendment,” the ACLU said in the lawsuit.

“Additionally, the statute discriminates against Plaintiff and other transgender prisoners in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” the lawsuit said.

Richardson, who was convicted of strangling an 11-month-old stepdaughter to death in 2001, recently filed a sworn declaration in support of the lawsuit. The declaration recounts Richardson’s history.

Richardson’s Declaration

“Although I was assigned the sex of male at birth, I knew I was a girl by the time that I was aged six. I hated my body as I was growing up as I knew it was wrong,” Richardson said in the declaration.

According to the declaration, Richardson only discovered what gender dysphoria is once the baby-killer was incarcerated. Richardson was diagnosed as having gender dysphoria in 2020, and was provided hormone blockers.

Richardson declaration
Richardson declaration

“As a result of these medications, my body has changed. I have developed breasts and my skin has softened,” Richardson said.

But despite receiving medical treatment, Richardson claims to still suffer negative, and at times debilitating, symptoms of gender dysphoria.

“My genitals are an enormous source of anxiety and distress. Not only can I not stand touching them, but I also cannot stand seeing them. I will wear panties in the shower so I do not have to see my genitals and when I wear clothes I attempt to ‘tuck’ my genitals so it does not appear that I have a penis or testicles,” Richardson said.

“At times, I have soiled myself rather than go to the bathroom, as I just do not want to see or deal with my genitals.”

A hearing is set to take place on March 26 to consider the lawsuit’s request for an injunction on Indiana from enforcing its statute that bans sex changes for prisoners.

And now, Richardson and the ACLU have the DOJ supporting them. The DOJ filed a statement of interest Tuesday in support of their motion for an injunction.

DOJ Support

“By prohibiting only those well-established treatments aimed at treating gender dysphoria, while allowing the same surgeries to treat other serious medical needs, HEA 1569 violates equal-protection principles,” the DOJ said in its brief.

“Moreover, the statute forecloses DOC officials from providing gender-affirming surgery where it is medically necessary based on an individualized assessment of medical needs and, as such, amounts to deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of harm from inadequately treated gender dysphoria,” the DOJ added.

“While the United States takes no position on whether Ms. Cordellioné requires such treatment, a blanket ban on this category of care violates the Constitution.”

The DOJ’s support of Richardson follows a similar move in Georgia, where prosecutors filed a brief last month in support of a lawsuit filed by an unnamed inmate against the Georgia Department of Corrections. Details of the inmate’s crimes weren’t included in the filing.

The DOJ also issued a press release last month, explaining its decision to support the inmate’s lawsuit. According to the press release, Doe alleges that the state of Georgia denied adequate medical treatment for gender dysphoria, including gender-affirming surgery that has been recommended by four clinicians and consistent hormone therapy.

“People with gender dysphoria should be able to seek the full protections of the American with Disabilities Act, just like other people with disabilities,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Additionally, the DOJ settled a lawsuit last June from a federal inmate—former Neo-Nazi bank robber Pete/Donna Langan—who sued the Bureau of Prisons in late 2021 to obtain a sex change. Langan became the first federal inmate in history to receive a sex change in January 2023, but continued to sue the BOP to also cover facial hair removal surgery.

The details of Langan’s settlement have not been made public.

Congressional Scrutiny

The Biden administration’s push to provide inmates with sex changes and to allow them to reside in female prisons has caught the attention of Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, who pressured BOP Director Colette Peters about the situation at a congressional hearing last November.

At the hearing, Nehls recounted how the Biden administration reversed Trump-era policies, which required the BOP to use biological sex as the initial determinant as to where inmates should be housed. He asked Peters about the implications of this reversal.

“I’m going to prison, and now instead of saying, ‘My name is Troy Nehls,’ I’m going to say, ‘My name is Susie Nehls,’ and I am a woman. And I just make that claim. At what point in time during that spectrum will that allow me then to ‘release the bull into the pen of heifers’?” Nehls asked.

Peters responded that all but 11 inmates are currently in jails based on their biological sex, and that inmates must undergo a “complex, serious evaluation from degreed medical doctors and psychologists” before they can be placed in a female prison.

Peters also said that two inmates have received taxpayer-funded sex changes. But Nehls noted that those two inmates are likely the first of many.

Nehls then asked about Langan, noting that the neo-Nazi’s lawsuit might have paved the way for countless inmates to exploit the system.

“If I’m going to prison for 10 years, I guess I would want to go to prison where the ladies are. Wouldn’t that be a good idea? And if you’re allowing that to take place through this process by talking to these shrinks and these guys, I’m going to convince you I’m a woman,” he said.

“And I’m going to enjoy five years in prison. In fact, half of the guys will probably say, ‘Don’t even release me! I’m having too much fun.’”

Other Richardson Litigation

Meanwhile, Richardson is also suing an Indiana prison chaplain for allegedly refusing her right to wear a hijab before rejecting her identity as a transgender woman, as the New York Post reported Wednesday.

“[I] was told that male Muslims could wear their kufis everywhere they went, but I couldn’t wear my hijab a females religious head ware because I was a male residing in a male institution even though I am a transgender woman, except in my bed area,” Richardson said in that lawsuit, which was filed in federal court last November and which is also being supported by the ACLU.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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