Supreme Court Temporarily Blocks Obama’s Transgender Bathroom Directive, Siding With Virginia School Board

The Supreme Court will decide whether to hear a Virginia case concerning transgender students' use of public bathrooms. (Photo: JASON SZENES, EPA)
The Supreme Court will decide whether to hear a Virginia case concerning transgender students’ use of public bathrooms.
(Photo: JASON SZENES, EPA)

The Supreme Court sided Wednesday with a Virginia school board opposed to the Obama administration’s directive that transgender students be allowed their choice of public bathrooms.

The justices blocked a federal appeals court ruling against the Gloucester County School Board while it considers whether to hear the case. If it does, it would mark the high court’s first foray into the issue of transgender rights.

The case was brought by a transgender student, Gavin Grimm, who contested the school district’s refusal to let him use the boys’ bathroom. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled in his favor in April but put its ruling on hold so the school board could appeal. The Supreme Court’s order keeps the old rules in place.

The battle over so-called bathroom bills has played out in many states as Republican lawmakers seek to force students to use facilities that correspond to their gender at birth, and transgender students fight for the right to follow their gender identity.

The court’s four conservative justices were joined by Justice Stephen Breyer in blocking the transgender student’s earlier victory. The three other liberal justices said they would have denied the school board’s request.

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SOURCE: USA Today
Richard Wolf