A judge on the 5th Circuit of Appeals has denied a request by a transgender prisoner to change his name and force others to use his preferred pronouns. The man in question is Norman Varner, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for charges stemming from child pornography.
Via The Daily Caller.
Varner requested in 2018 that the name on his judgment of committal, which is Norman Varner, be changed to the prisoner’s “new legal name of Katherine Nicole Jett.” Varner reportedly came out as transgender in 2015, began taking hormone therapy shortly after, and plans to have gender reassignment surgery.
Duncan denied the motion, saying that the courts had no jurisdiction to grant the request. The judge wrote in his opinion that Varner cited no legal authority and merely referenced feelings. The judge also referred to the transgender child pornographer with male pronouns throughout his opinion and by the name “Varner.”
Of course, this triggered the heck out of the mainstream media. NBC News ran with the headline “Trump-Appointed Judge Dismisses Trans Defendants Chosen Pronouns.”
You see, the story here isn’t that this pedophile’s demands aren’t mandated by law, it’s that an evil Trump judge made a decision that goes against the LGBTQ orthodoxy. Here’s how they framed it.
Stuart Kyle Duncan, a judge on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, issued an advisory opinion Wednesday that dismissed a transgender defendant’s chosen pronouns and the broader concept of gender identity, just less than two years after LGBTQ advocates warned that Duncan would not rule fairly if confirmed to the bench.
Kathrine Nicole Jett, a transgender woman who was known as Norman Varner when she pleaded guilty in 2012 to attempted receipt of child pornography, moved to have her conviction records updated to match her changed name, according to the decision. A lower court judge dismissed her motion because there was no “defect” in the original judgment paperwork, in that “Norman Varner” was her legal name when the documents were produced.
Jett’s appeal appeared before the 5th Circuit, where Duncan sits. In his majority opinion, Duncan vacated the lower court ruling that denied Jett’s appeal, saying the court lacked jurisdiction, but then he proceeded to mock Jett’s court motion that she be referred to using female pronouns and her new name.
The accusations of mocking in this case are simply Duncan laying out his legal reasoning and explaining why the lower court didn’t even have jurisdiction. Apparently, he’s bound to only speak warm and fuzzies of a decision he’s overturning or something. That’s not usually how things work in the judiciary though.
The fact that Duncan didn’t slap reality in the face and call a male pedophile by his chosen female pronouns is a grave sin that’s going to get him targeted going forward. He also referred to Varner as having gender dysphoria instead of just being transgender, which is objectively true.
NBC lays into Duncan, making a false comparison with the fact that the 5th Circuit has allowed transgender pronouns in medical books. That’s hardly the same thing as a pedophile in prison demanding a judge address him a certain way. But they did eventually admit that Duncan is right in regards to the law.
“Congress has said nothing to prohibit courts from referring to litigants according to their biological sex, rather than according to their subjective gender identity,” Duncan correctly observes, noting that the “convention” is and continues to be a “courtesy.”
Duncan was previously involved in litigation (prior to being a judge) involving a transgender high school student trying to use the girl’s bathroom. This made him ripe for opposition by LGBTQ groups during his confirmation. He was eventually confirmed anyway.
These issues are only going to get more prevalent as time goes on and Duncan’s decision is likely to face scrutiny by the broader 5th Circuit. Meanwhile, our society has decided it’s better to reinforce and celebrate mental illness instead of treating it. None of this will end well.