Supreme Court refuses appeal for transgender bathroom ban at Virginia school

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from a Virginia school board that sought to reinstate a ban on transgender students using any public restroom other than the one of their birth sex.  The Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal and left in place the lower court decision; and only two dissenting justices, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, voted to hear the appeal. The court did not give a reason for refusing to hear the case.

The Gloucester County School Board had asked the Supreme Court to reverse a decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals last year in student Gavin Grimm’s favor. That court decided that the school’s policy segregating transgender students was unconstitutional and violate Title IX. Grimm, who was born female but identifies as male, was initially told by his high school principal that he could use the boys restroom — but the school board later adopted a ban against using any public school restroom that doesn’t correspond to a student’s assigned gender at birth. The Gloucester School Board argued that its issue was about weighing the privacy rights of other students against the rights of transgender students. It contended that the rights other students were at-risk if transgender students are allowed to use restrooms opposite from their biological sex.