In like a lion, out like a lamb. The order below is how the Supreme Court dismissed the transgender bathroom case GLOUCESTER COUNTY SCH. BD. V. G. G. yesterday morning. Now that isn’t dismissed as in “case dismissed,” but sent back to the Fourth Circuit told them to make a new ruling. Then the process starts all over again. If that ruling is disliked by one of the parties, they may appeal to the Supreme Court again.
Gavin Grimm is a transgender student at a Virginia high school who, after being diagnosed with gender dysphoria was granted permission by the principal to use the boys’ bathroom. The school board reversed that decision and required students using group lavatories to visit only those assigned to the sex on their birth certificate.
After the Department of Education had issued a letter stating schools receiving federal funds must allow transgendered students to use the facilities of their gender identity, Grimm sued for access to the boy’s room. Eventually, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the school board and mandated Grimm be allowed to use the boys’ facilities. The school board appealed that decision, and in November the Supreme Court announced it would take the case and that until it ruled further, the 4th Circuit ruling granting Grimm access to the boy’s room was stayed – preventing Grimm from using the boys’ facilities at the school.
The Trump administration withdrew the guidance put forth in the letter that formed the basis of the complaint and ruling. As a consequence of the government action, the Supreme Court decided that it could not rule on the merits of the case. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will now readdress the case in light of the new position of the government, and the parties will go from there.
Oral arguments in the case were scheduled for March 28th. As the first Supreme Court Case dealing with transgender discrimination, it was one of the most closely watched, with many outside organizations petitioning the Supreme Court with briefs arguing for one ruling or another. For now, transgender rights or lack thereof in public accommodation will have to wait for this case to return or another to make its way up to the high Court.