Fields v. Smith

Find Your State

Know the laws in your state that protect LGBT people and people living with HIV.
Status: Closed
Outcome:
Victory
Court:
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
Issues: Health Care Fairness, Transgender Rights

Case challenging a Wisconsin law that bars access to hormone therapy or sex reassignment surgery for prison inmates and others in state custody

Read more

Summary

Lambda Legal and the ACLU have filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of three transgender women incarcerated in Wisconsin. The case challenges a Wisconsin law that bars access to hormone therapy or sex reassignment surgery for prison inmates and others in state custody. Prison doctors used to be allowed to determine proper treatment for transgender inmates, but this new law strips them of that power. We received a court order for our clients to continue receiving treatment as the case moves forward.

Context

It is a violation of the federal Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection as well as the guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment to bar transgender inmates from access to individualized medical care. Wisconsin is the only state in the country that has passed a law barring its Department of Corrections from providing medically necessary care to transgender inmates.

Lambda Legal's Impact

Reversing Wisconsin’s law will ensure that transgender inmates receive necessary medical care and help to dispel myths about transgender health needs. In this and other cases, Lambda Legal is fighting to ensure that transgender people have access to appropriate health care and are safe from discrimination.