The Supreme Court sent a case regarding a transgender student’s bathroom preferences to a lower court Monday.
The case involves Gavin Grimm, a Virginia high school student who wishes to use the bathroom that aligns with the gender identity of his choosing. Because the case was sent to the court of appeals, the chances of the Supreme Court hearing it during this term are slim.
This issue has surfaced in light of a recent policy change by the Trump administration which removed protections for transgender students in public schools, originally put into place by the Obama-era.
Joshua Block, the American Civil Liberties Union attorney representing Grimm, said, “While we’re disappointed that the Supreme Court will not be hearing Gavin’s case this term, the overwhelming level of support shown for Gavin and trans students by people across the country throughout this process shows that the American people have already moved in the right direction and that the rights of trans people cannot be ignored.”
The attorney continued:
“This is a detour, not the end of the road, and we’ll continue to fight for Gavin and other transgender people to ensure that they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”
The Gloucester County School Board has been fighting against Grimm’s case, and said it looked “forward to explaining why its common sense restroom and locker room policy is legal under the Constitution and federal law.” The school board policy denies him entry to the boys’ bathroom while allowing him the use of single-stall unisex restrooms.
A federal appeals court ruled in favor of Grimm last April, deferring to the Obama administration’s interpretation of Title IX.
Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Kerri Kupec said in a statement regarding the case:
“It only makes sense for the Supreme Court to vacate the 4th Circuit’s earlier decision and instruct it to reconsider this case. The 4th Circuit should affirm the plain meaning of Title IX, which protects boys’ and girls’ privacy in locker rooms, showers, and restrooms.”
“School officials should be free to protect their students’ privacy, safety, and dignity without federal government interference,” Kupec continued.
On the other side of the argument, an LGBT-rights group said they are confident about Grimm’s case.
Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network Executive Director Eliza Byard said:
“The Supreme Court has missed an opportunity to end the painful discrimination currently faced by tens of thousands of transgender students nationwide.”
The director continued,
“In the meantime trans students are left without clear protections from our Federal government while the case is reheard.”
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