Supreme Court Won’t Hear Major Case on Transgender Rights

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/us/politics/supreme-court-transgender-rights-case.html

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would not hear a major case on transgender rights after all, acting after the Trump administration changed the federal government’s position on whether public schools must allow transgender youths to use bathrooms that match their gender identities.

In a one-sentence order, the Supreme Court vacated an appeals court decision in favor of a Virginia transgender boy, Gavin Grimm, and sent the case back for further consideration in light of the new guidance from the administration.

The Supreme Court had agreed in October to hear the case, and the justices were scheduled to hear arguments this month. The case would have been the court’s first encounter with transgender rights, and it would probably have been one of the biggest decisions of a fairly sleepy term.

Proponents of transgender rights said they were disappointed that the court had not taken the chance to decide a pressing national issue.

“Thousands of transgender students across the country will have to wait even longer for a final decision from our nation’s highest court affirming their basic rights,” said Sarah Warbelow, the legal director of the Human Rights Campaign.

Kerri Kupec, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative “Christian” sic group, welcomed Monday’s development.

“The first duty of school districts is to protect the bodily privacy rights of all of the students who attend their schools and to respect the rights of parents who understandably don’t want their children exposed in intimate changing areas like locker rooms and showers,” she said.

There are other cases on transgender rights in lower courts, including a challenge to a North Carolina law that, in government buildings, requires transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond with the gender listed on their birth certificates. The law has drawn protests, boycotts and lawsuits.

The question in the Virginia case was whether Mr. Grimm could use the boys’ bathroom in his high school. The Obama administration said yes, relying on its interpretation of a federal regulation under a 1972 law, Title IX, that bans discrimination “on the basis of sex” in schools that receive federal money.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/us/politics/supreme-court-transgender-rights-case.html

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