Transgender School Bathroom Case Sent Back To 4th Circuit
Mar 07, 2017 10:36 AM EST
A transgender high school student's appeal of bathroom rights was vacated and remanded by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday due to Trump administration's decision to withdraw federal support from the legal battle. The lawsuit would have been the first U.S. Supreme Court case that deliberated on transgender rights.
Filed on behalf of Virginia teenager Gavin Grimm, the Gloucester County School District prohibited him from using the boys' bathroom which was reserved only for biological males, according to the New York Times. The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in an April 2016 opinion stated that it violated his transgender rights under Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972.
When the Trump administration took over, President Donald Trump ended guidance from the Obama administration that instructed schools to give transgender students the option of choosing which bathroom they would use. The administration, however, has yet to issue new guidance on the issue.
According to Bloomberg News, transgender teenager Grimm initially used the boys' bathroom at Gloucester High School until the school board voted to change the policy. Since then, he used the nurse's restroom and the school even added three-single user bathrooms.
The 17-year-old teen expressed his disappointment that his senior year would probably end without resolution of the issue. "But I'm still as passionate and happy to be doing this as ever. If it took 10 years, I'd stick with it," he said, despite the setback in his case.
Although the constitutional issues remain unresolved for the school districts, the transgender rights issue received national attention even without a Supreme Court decision. The decision to send Grimm's case back to a lower court delays until at least next term, to establish a decision on whether federal laws that forbid discrimination on the basis of sex also extend to gender identity.