Yesterday, Nikki Araguz had her appeal heard by a 3 judge panel in the 13th District Court of Appeals in Texas. Now you have to remember that the person who started all this legalistic crap was Thomas Araguz’s former wife. You need to remember that the lawyer she hired was so slimy that he’s been barred from further law practice in Texas. You have to remember that Judge Randy Clapp accepted a bad photocopy of Nikki’s voided California birth certificate from said lawyer, which the state of California has publicly stated is not valid and then used that as his basis for declaring that Nikki is not female. You have to remember that when presented with further evidence he denied a rehearing saying any evidence wasn’t going to change his bigoted mind. And then you have to remember that is how he made his ruling.
The hearing yesterday is very likely to rule in Nikki’s favor as is the full appeals court when the ex-wife appeals the panel’s decision. You also have to remember that the Texas Supreme Court is packed with anti-gay activist judges who are likely to rule against Nikki on completely unconstitutional, religious, and spurious grounds.
At that point, all this will end up headed for the Supreme Court and I can’t see the Supreme Court not taking this because we have two states disagreeing about identifying documentation which Texas is required, under the 14th amendment, to accept. No, the 14th amendment doesn’t say that explicitly but case law has established that fact. And I cannot see Texas winning this purely on those grounds alone. Texas will be forced to accept that birth certificate, and having done so, will be forced to recognize Nikki (and every other transgender person in Texas) as legally of the gender which they claim. So why all this hoopla? It’s standard for radical right wing extremists and will then further give Greg Abbott more ammunition to talk about Texas seceding from the US because the rest of the country is beginning to recognize the basic civil rights of transgender persons. This is all political theater and also because evil men like Greg Abbott appear to actually enjoy hurting other human beings in order to shove their religious beliefs down your throat.
Here’s a good summary of the current situation from Cristan Williams who has been writing about this case for a few years now.