Assessing the 2016 Election and How It Impacts the Transgender Community
The next Supreme Court Justice may be against transgender rights.
With Donald Trump winning the election, he now gets to nominate the next Supreme Court Justice. If he goes the conservative route this could be a devastating blow for transgender rights. The seat of Justice Antonin Scalia will be the first to be replaced and Trump will be nominating any vacancies that occur over at least the next four years. This can directly impact the case of The Gloucester County School Board v Gavin Grimm, which will most likely decide if gender identity is protected under Title IX. The outcome of this decision will not only decide the future for the rights of transgender students in the United States, but it will also set a precedent for all future transgender rights decisions.
It looks like the end for North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and HB2
If you are looking for a silver lining, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) has declared victory over incumbent Governor Pat McCrory, though he is only ahead by 3,000 votes. The claimed victory comes despite Donald Trump winning the state. McCrory signed the controversial law which forces transgender citizens in the state to use the restroom that corresponds with their birth certificate and not their gender identity. Exit polls showed that 70% of North Carolina residents now oppose the law. There are still thousands of provisional ballots that have to be counted, so the final results of the election may not be known until an official canvas of votes on November 18th.
Ousted North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Both transgender candidates lose their races
Misty Snow lost her bid for U.S. Senator in Utah to Republican incumbent Mike Lee. She lost her race by a margin of 67% to 28%. Misty Plowright also lost her bid for Colorado’s 5th District Congressional Seat to Republican incumbent Doug Lamborn by a result of 62% to 31%. The silver lining is the fact that two transgender candidates both won 30% of the vote and they have paved the way for more future transgender candidates.
Misty Snow (left) and Misty Plowright (right) – (Photo: samuel-warde.com)
The balance of power and the lower courts
With all three branches of the government in the hands of the Republicans, we can expect to see more conservative laws in the future. We will also see more conservative choices for the lower courts, which will impact future decisions in cases involving transgender rights.
The President’s Cabinet
When you hear the names Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich, transgender rights don’t exactly come to mind. They are almost guaranteed to be a part of Trump’s cabinet over the next four years. It is highly unlikely that we will see the replacement for Attorney General Loretta Lynch taking the podium to stand up for transgender rights.
Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich (Photo: AP)
What happens from here?
The truth is that we do not know. The 2016 Presidential Race was so riddled with negativity that no one really knows for sure which Donald Trump they are going to get. Will we see the more liberal version of Donald Trump who was supportive of the Clintons and their views just a few short years ago or do we see the version that has been on display the past two years? The answer remains to be seen, but on paper it looks like it may be a rough go for the transgender community over the next four years.