Virginia Transgender Bathroom Case Heading to the Supreme Court
By Transgender Universe
The Gloucester County School Board announced a filing on Tuesday that asks the U.S. Supreme Court to review a recent ruling on transgender bathroom access by the U.S. Curt of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
“IN 2014, THE SCHOOL DISTRICT ADOPTED A DISCRIMINATORY BATHROOM POLICY, WHICH SEPARATED TRANSGENDER STUDENTS FROM THEIR PEERS.”
The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Virginia previously filed a lawsuit against the school board on behalf of Gavin Grimm, a transgender male student who begins the 11th grade in the fall. In 2014, the school district adopted a discriminatory bathroom policy, which separated transgender students from their peers. The policy requires transgender students to use “alternate” restrooms.
On April 19, 2016, the Fourth Circuit Court ruled in favor of Grimm and held that Title IX protects the rights of transgender students to use facilities that are in line with their gender identity. In late May, the Gloucester County School Board asked the full 4th Circuit — en banc — to reconsider the ruling. The court has denied their request.
“MOST SPECULATE THE CASE WOULD NOT LIKELY BE ABLE TO BE HEARD UNTIL LATE 2016 OR EARLY 2017.”
The school board responded on Tuesday in a filing with the Fourth Circuit, which states, “The School Board intends to file a petition for writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court within ninety (90) days of this Court’s entry of judgment.” They also requested a stay on the court’s recent ruling. Because of the timing of the filing, the earliest the Supreme Court could hear the case would be in September as they are due to adjourn for summer recess. Most speculate the case would not likely be able to be heard until late 2016 or early 2017. Another bump in the road for the case is the fact that the Supreme Court is currently short one justice, which could lead to a possible 4-4 split in the final ruling.
The final ruling could have a serious impact on several ongoing cases regarding transgender restrooms including North Carolina’s now famous HB2 law. Recently, the Obama Administration, the Department of Education and the US Justice Department issued guidance directing public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity. As many as 11 states have filed suit against the federal guidance including Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.