[Vision2020] Idaho agrees to pay transgender women’s attorney fees

Moscow Cares moscowcares at moscow.com
Sun May 20 04:23:44 PDT 2018

Courtesy of today’s (May 20, 2018) Spokesman-Review.


Idaho agrees to pay transgender women’s attorney fees

By Betsy Russell

Idaho’s top state elected officials have approved a $75,000 payout to the attorneys who successfully represented two transgender women born in Idaho who sued to overturn the state’s law forbidding any changes to the gender listed on a person’s birth certificate.

In March, a federal judge ruled that the Idaho law violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, and ordered the state to begin allowing such changes. New state rules allowing the changes to birth certificates took effect April 6.

The state and the attorneys for the two women reached a settlement on the women’s attorney fees at $75,000, but the state acknowledged that if it went before a judge, the record would support a claim of more than $99,000.

“In my office’s view, the terms of the settlement are fair, and represent a significant savings to the state,” wrote Deputy Attorney General W. Scott Zanzig in a memo to the state Board of Examiners, which consists of Gov. Butch Otter, Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney, and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, with state Controller Brandon Woolf serving as the board’s nonvoting secretary.

The board, which met last week, unanimously approved the payment. Wasden said there were sufficient funds left in his office’s special litigation account to cover the attorney fee settlement, so no request needed to be submitted for payment from the Legislature’s Constitutional Defense Fund, which often is tapped for such fee awards when the state loses major cases over the constitutionality of laws passed by the Legislature.

Cockerille Law Office of Boise and the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund represented the two women.

Prior to the court ruling, Idaho was one of just four states that didn’t allow transgender people to change the gender listed on their birth certificates; the other three are Kansas, Ohio and Tennessee.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale found that the mismatch the law created between the women’s gender identity and their birth certificates exposed them to “harassment and embarrassment,” and unconstitutionally treated transgender individuals differently from others, who were allowed to make other changes to Idaho birth certificates on matters including paternity.


Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
Tom “Free to be you and me” Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

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