US Supreme Court will not hear Gavin Grimm transgender bathroom case

Gavin Grimm

Gavin Grimm

The Supreme Court was expected to have to weigh in on transgender bathroom rights sooner or later.

The Supreme Court was set to hear oral arguments in the Virginia case later this month, but on Monday the curt made a decision to vacate a prior ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that the Gloucester County school board had violated federal Title IX anti-discrimination rules by not letting Grimm, who was born female, use the boys' restroom.

Following Trump's order, the Supreme Court remanded the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for "further consideration".

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It was not immediately clear what the high court's action would mean for an injunction that had been issued after the 4th Circuit ruled previous year that Grimm could use the boys' restrooms at Gloucester County High School. The Fourth Circuit overruled that decision and sent it back to the lower court, which eventually ruled in Grimm's favor.

The Supreme Court's decision means the court will not hear arguments in Grimm's case. "We are, however, confident that the Court of Appeals will again conclude - as most courts have - that anti-gender discrimination laws like Title IX protect transgender students and forbid schools from singling them out".

"The Supreme Court has missed an opportunity to end the painful discrimination now faced by tens of thousands of transgender students nationwide", Byard said in a statement. The "dear colleague" letter released by Obama's Departments of Justice and Education attempted to redefine Title IX's sex-discrimination protections, arguing that "sex" actually meant "gender identity".

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There is a challenge to a North Carolina law that requires transgender people to use bathrooms in government buildings that correspond with the gender listed on their birth certificates. With this leaving the lower courts having to answer the question of whether federal law should apply to how to treat gender identity discrimination - the Supreme Court's announcement leaves them to answer the question first. SCOTUS believes that the lower courts now need to reassess whether or not Gavin's claims against his school fall under the Title IX clause.

Both sides in Grimm's case had asked for the high court to go ahead with the case, even after the administration withdrew the Obama-era directive, although the school board said the case should be delayed.

Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, said he agrees that Title IX should include protecting transgender rights, and he is disappointed with the Supreme Court's decision.

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