ROANOKE, Va. – A federal judge is hearing the case of a Virginia inmate seeking a state-paid sex-change operation.
U.S. District Court Judge James C. Turk in Roanoke is scheduled to hear the case of Ophelia De'Lonta on Monday.
Turk had previously dismissed De'Lonta's self-filed lawsuit in 2011 after he concluded the Virginia Department of Corrections was adequately treating De'Lonta's gender identity disorder, a mental diagnosis in which people believe they were born the wrong sex.
But a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in January sent her case back to the lower court. They said De'Lonta is entitled to a hearing on her claim that denying her sex-assignment surgery is a violation of her Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment.