Supreme Court rejects transgender restroom case
A Virginia school board lost its fight to keep single-sex restrooms and locker rooms divided between biological girls and boys. Gavin Grimm, born female, began identifying as a male while attending high school in Gloucester County, Va. The principal initially allowed Grimm to use the boys restroom, but school policy required students to use facilities according to their biological sex. The school gave Grimm the option of a single-stall restroom, and Grimm sued for sex discrimination in 2015. Lower courts ruled in favor of Grimm in 2019 and 2020. On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to hear the school board’s appeal. Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas said they would have heard the case.
Why did the court let the appellate decision stand? The justices did not give a reason, but historically, the Supreme Court only gets involved in cases in which appellate circuits disagree. In its 2020 decision in favor of Grimm, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cited the reasoning the Supreme Court used in Bostock v. Clayton, in which it said discrimination on the basis of sex includes gender identity. In delivering that decision, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote it did not pertain to restrooms and locker rooms.
Dig deeper: Read Mary Jackson’s summary of how the courts have handled the restroom question.
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