Evan Minton
Evan Minton, a transgender man, was denied a medically necessary procedure by a Catholic hospital solely because he is transgender | via Sacramento Bee

One important review. One important non-review
by the United States Supreme Court.

Monday, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case captioned Dignity Health d/b/a Mercy San Juan Medical Center v. Minton. At issue was whether or not a Catholic hospital could turn away a transgender man (Evan Minton) who was scheduled to have a medically necessary hysterectomy. Minton had the procedure three days later at a different hospital.

A trial court agreed with the hospital that a three day delay did not constitute an unreasonable burden on Mr. Minton. However, a California appellate court overturned that ruling. In March, 2020 the hospital sought review by the United States Supreme Court.

In its petition to the Supreme Court, the Catholic hospital said that it had a First Amendment right to decline a procedure which violated its religious beliefs. Moreover, the hospital claimed that there were “readily available” alternatives for Mr. Minton that would not require the hospital to violate its beliefs.

In response, the ACLU, which represented Mr. Minton, claimed:

… he was denied the same procedure that Dignity Health permits many other nontransgender patients to undergo, at the same facility, in a host of other, comparable circumstances.

Moreover, the ACLU asserted that the case was not ripe for review because the California courts had yet to rule on certain federal issues. Therefore, this might not be the final outcome. This case is likely to come before the Supreme Court again in the future.

On other matters the Court did not determine whether or not it would reconsider its denial of review in the Barronelle Stutzman (Arlene’s Flowers) matter. I find that troubling.

Last June, the Supreme Court declined to hear this case yet again. This matter has been in the courts since 2013. It has been considered twice by the Supreme Court.

In 2013 this could have been resolved for a few hundred dollars and a promise not to discriminate again. However, Alliance Defending Freedom has been pimping Stutzman for eight years. She has become a willing cash cow.

The first time, in 2018, the Court remanded the case back to the Washington State Supreme Court to determine — in light of the ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop — if the state courts had been antagonistic to religion. The Court affirmed its prior determination that Stutzman unlawfully discriminated.

ADF appealed to the Supreme Court for the second time. In June, 2021, the Court declined to hear the case. ADF then asked the Court to rehear the case.

ADF’s “rationale” is that, in a similar case, the Tenth Circuit upheld a lower court ruling (for the third and final time) that the business known as “303 Creative” did not have a license to discriminate. Therefore, the Supreme Court should re-review Stutzman’s case. ADF makes no sense.

The fact that it makes no sense should have been sufficient to deny rehearing a resolved matter.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.