WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a convicted murderer in Massachusetts who has been seeking taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery in prison.

The justices did not comment Monday in letting stand a lower-court ruling against Michelle Kosilek.

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The prison inmate was born Robert Kosilek and is serving a life sentence for killing spouse Cheryl Kosilek in 1990.

Michelle Kosilek

Michelle Kosilek

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The inmate has waged a lengthy fight for the surgery she says is necessary to relieve the mental anguish caused by gender-identity disorder.

Last year, a divided federal appeals court in Boston overturned a first-in-the-nation court order for the state to provide the sex-reassignment surgery.

Courts around the country have found that prisons must evaluate transgender inmates to determine their health care needs, but most have ordered hormone treatments and psychotherapy, not surgery.

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