1st Cir News: LGBT Rights, Sex Changes, New Judge and a SCOTUS Ruling

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on February 24, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

When it rains, it pours. The First Circuit is not usually a very busy circuit to report on, but it happens to have a lot going on right now. Rather than focusing on one case, we thought we'd give you the scoop on the biggest headlines in the First Circuit.

Sex Changes Hearing En Banc

Just a month ago we reported that the First Circuit affirmed a district court's ruling that an inmate's gender reassignment surgery is medically necessary. Now, the court has granted a motion for rehearing en banc with the full panel of the First Circuit, and a new hearing is scheduled for May 8, 2014, reports The Boston Globe.

New Hampshire's First Woman U.S. District Judge

Last Friday, we saw the "last of the firsts" -- that is, the first woman U.S. District Judge for the District of New Hampshire, Judge Landya McCafferty, was sworn in. With her swearing in, now every district in the First Circuit has a minimum of one female judge on the bench, reports The Associated Press. On her view of the judiciary, Judge McCafferty stated, "A judge must function at all times with the understanding that she serves the people in her courtroom, and not the other way around."

Gay Cafeteria Worker Fired

Just days after Matthew Barrett was offered a job as cafeteria director at a Catholic School in Milton, Mass., the offer was rescinded. Why? Because Barrett listed his husband as his emergency contact. According to Barrett, when the offer was rescinded, a school official told him, "the Catholic faith doesn't recognize same-sex marriages and that she couldn't employ me knowing this," reports the New York Daily News. As a result of the school officials' actions, Barrett has filed a claim with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. It will be interesting to see how the Commission rules.

SCOTUS Decision in Ray Haluch Gravel Co.

A case originating in the First Circuit -- Ray Haluch Gravel v. Central Pension Fund -- was recently decided by the Supreme Court. The Court had to determine whether a case that left open a request of attorneys' fees was a final decision, or not. The Nine held that "the pendency of a ruling on an award for fees and costs does not prevent, as a general rule, the merits judgment from becoming final for purposes of appeal."

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