You may remember the case of Gavin Grimm, a 16 year old student who was abruptly barred from using the men’s bathroom at his school in Virginia.
After a federal judge initially ruled in favour of the school district’s policy, this decision was eventually overturned on appeal. Now the Virginia school board has said that it will be asking the Supreme Court to take up the case regarding the bathroom policy.
If the Supreme Court agrees to take on the case, even if they decide not to make a decision, this will be a landmark case to be sure.
Gloucester County School Boardn lawyers said that the case would be of “national significance.”
They further argued in court papers: “It directly affects every school district and college in this circuit that receives federal funding and indirectly affects every such district and college in the United States.”
“The balancing of the individual’s right to bodily privacy against the needs of individuals who are transgender is an issue that has become the subject of significant national debate in recent months.”
Lawyer David P. Corrigan said: “The School Board has a responsibility particularly where children are still developing, both emotionally and physically, to ensure students’ privacy.”
However, Josh Block, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU representing Gavin Grimm criticised the school board for spending “”so much time and money to prevent Gavin from using the restroom.”
“We will continue to fight on behalf of Gavin and all transgender students to ensure that schools live up to their obligations under Title IX,” he continued.
As we know, the Obama administration has argued that Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex also extends to gender identity as well. Which way the Supreme Court decides to go could have huge implications, and even if the court declines to grant the case a writ of certiorari, the lower court’s ruling will be cited by lawyers and judges as the defining precedent.
Fingers crossed that the Supreme Court will once again rule in the favour of equality.