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Mom who sued transgender daughter over medical treatment takes case to the Supreme Court

Key Points
  • A mother who sued her transgender daughter for emancipating herself and then obtaining gender transition care is bringing her case to the Supreme Court, though her daughter is no longer a party to the case. 
  • Anmarie Calgaro, represented by the conservative Thomas More Society, filed a petition on Wednesday alleging that her "parental Due Process Clause rights" were violated by St. Louis County, medical providers, and the St. Louis County School District.
L.G.B.T. activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall, October 24, 2018 in New York City.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images

A mother in Minnesota who sued her transgender daughter for emancipating herself and then obtaining gender transition care is bringing her case to the Supreme Court, though her daughter is no longer a party to the case.

Anmarie Calgaro, represented by the conservative Thomas More Society, filed a petition on Wednesday alleging that her "parental Due Process Clause rights" were violated by St. Louis County, medical providers and the St. Louis County School District.

Her daughter, identified in court papers as E.J.K., moved out in 2015 and at 15 years old obtained a letter from a legal clinic that concluded E.J.K. was "legally emancipated."

Using that letter, E.J.K. was able to obtain gender transition care, described in the petition "as life-altering elective medical services for gender transformation, including potential surgery," and prescription medication from two medical providers. When Calgaro attempted to intervene, the medical providers rebuffed her. So too did E.J.K.'s high school, when Calgaro sought to obtain her daughter's educational records.

A district court ruled against Calgaro and a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling in March. Circuit Judge Steven Colloton, writing for the panel, noted that E.J.K. had turned 18 and finished high school, and thus Calgaro's claims were moot.

"Unbelievably, Minnesota statutes authorize a county to deem a minor 'emancipated' to receive welfare payments to live on their own and allow medical providers to void parental input if it determines the minor is living apart from the parents and is managing his or her own personal financial affairs," Erick Kaardal, an attorney for the Thomas More Society, said in a statement.

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"This is an unacceptable situation for any parent and a serious violation of parental and due process rights," Kaardal said.

In the filing with the top court, Calgaro's attorneys wrote that the mother "retained her unconditional love" for her daughter. And Calgaro has portrayed herself as a concerned mom in press appearances.

But in court filings, E.J.K. wrote that her parents were at times verbally and physically abusive. She wrote in one brief that she was raised by a "network of other adults who supplied some of the care and nurturing that her biological parents were unable to offer," according to NBC News.

The Supreme Court will decide whether it will hear the case when it returns from its summer recess in the fall.

A representative for the St. Louis County attorney's office declined to comment.

The case is Anmarie Calgaro v. St. Louis County.