Supreme Court sends Gavin Grimm case back to lower court

Posted on 06 Mar 2017 at 10:46am

Gavin Grimm

The Supreme Court vacated a Virginia court’s ruling in favor of transgender teen Gavin Grimm after the Trump administration reversed Obama administration guidance to public schools on transgender bathroom use.

The Appeals Court ruled in favor of Grimm, a 17-year-old student, relying on Obama administration guidance that said transgender students should use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. Now the court must decide if Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, extends to transgender people. If so, the lower court would again find in Grimm’s favor.

The Supreme Court was to hear the case in a few weeks. By the time the case returns to the Supreme Court, the court sill probably have at least one more conservative justice.

“Nothing about today’s action changes the meaning of the law,” Joshua Block, senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s LGBT Project, said. “Title IX and the Constitution protect Gavin and other transgender students from discrimination.” Block is Grimm’s lead attorney.

“The Supreme Court has missed an opportunity to end the painful discrimination currently faced by tens of thousands of transgender students nationwide,” said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard. “The position previously taken by the Departments of Education and Justice lifted up best practices for K-12 schools to improve the lives of students and provide a clear path to opportunity.”

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