Supreme Court sends Va. transgender case back to lower court

07 March, 2017, 00:46 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Gavin Grimm 17 of Gloucester Va. sued his school district over the right to use the boys bathroom at his high school. The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Monday

Now that the Trump administration has officially rescinded that policy, the Supreme Court has chose to send the case down to a lower for further review.

Transgender students at US public schools were left in legal limbo on Monday about whether a federal anti-discrimination law enables them to use the bathroom of their choice after the Supreme Court sidestepped a major ruling on the issue. The Court vacated the appeals court decision favoring transgender boy Gavin Grimm, sending back the case for further consideration, The New York Times reports. The guidance directed schools to allow transgender students access to restrooms that align with their gender identity in order to not risk losing federal funding. In its ruling, the Fourth Circuit had deferred to the Obama administration's guidance that public school must accommodate their transgender students under Title IX, a regulation that prohibits federally-funded schools from discriminating based on sex. The move was a direct result of the Trump administration's decision to turn back Obama administration guidance requiring schools to allow transgender students to use the facilities they deem most appropriate.

Monday's decision means the case will go back to a court of appeals and likely removes the possibility that the Supreme Court will hear it this term. Since then, Gavin has generally used the nurse's restroom, though the school has since installed three single-user bathrooms. He is also senior counsel for First Liberty Institute and filed an amicus brief at the Supreme Court representing Catholic colleges in this case.

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The US Supreme Court has reversed its decision to hear a landmark case on transgender bathroom rights.

Grimm's case received widespread attention over the past couple of months, bolstered by actress Laverne Cox who told people to "Google Gavin Grimm" at the 2017 Grammys before introducing Lady Gaga and Metallica. He asserts he should be able to use the bathroom of his gender identity under Title IX, which is a national law that protects students against sexual discrimination. 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. While the Obama administration said it did, the Trump administration has not issued an opinion on the topic, The Washington Post reports. Now it will have to review the case again because of the new guidelines issued by Trump's Departments of Education and Justice.

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