The political stink that arose in the wake of Wolf's order has been instructive.
Not surprisingly, incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown denounced the decision as an outrageous waste of taxpayers' dollars. That is consistent with his actions as a state senator, when he moved to preempt any state funding for prisoner sex reassignment.
But when Brown's challenger, Democrat Elizabeth Warren, echoed his position, we were horrified. That Warren could find herself on the wrong side of this issue shows how muddled and uninformed public opinion is — and implies that the professor has a dismal understanding of identity politics in general.
Even in Massachusetts, there's still dismayingly widespread prejudice against transgender people. The medical facts, the physical and psychological realities, are not known or understood by the public at large. Hence the political tension in a state that recently became the 16th in the nation to adopt formal non-discrimination measures to protect the trans community, and the political reaction — or backlash — against Wolf's order.
Wolf may have sparked controversy, but more importantly, the judge provided a teachable moment about prisoners' rights. the rights of prisoners with transgender dysphoria, and the rights of transgender people in society at large.
And before some knucklehead on talk radio attacks Wolf for being yet another pointy-headed liberal judge, note that he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan.
: The Editorial Page
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