If you've been putting off that sex change operation only because Uncle Sam isn't willing to help pick up the tab, good news might await you: as this story relates, by the end of the year we should have a ruling on whether gender identity disorder is a medical condition, thus allowing the cost of a sex change -- typically around twenty-five large -- to be tax-deductible.
The government might have fared better in opposing this if it hadn't chosen for its expert Dr. Park Dietz. His 15 minutes of fame came during his appearance a few years back as an expert witness for the state in the Andrea Yates case,
during which he told spellbound jurors that Yates may have gotten her idea of drowning her five children from a Law and Order episode in which a mother drowned her children and was acquitted on grounds of insanity. Unhappily, it wasn't until the case got to the court of appeals that everyone discovered that no such episode existed, leading to the reversal of Yates' conviction.
No word on whether Dr. Dietz formed his opinions about gender identity disorder from episodes of Will & Grace and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
The Briefcase is going to have a substantially abbreviated schedule in September. Monday's Labor Day, so the Case Update will be on Tuesday. On Thursday, I'm leaving for two weeks in Maui, and on the list of things that will be occupying my thoughts for those two weeks, anything to do with the law is about midway down page 12. I'll have a post tomorrow about speedy trial and state requests for discovery, then the case update on Tuesday and whatever catches my fancy on Wednesday, and then we'll be on hiatus here (note the use of the imperial "we") until the 24th.