Friday, February 3, 2017

Oral argument scheduled for Gloucester County School Board v. G.G.

Oral argument in Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. — a transgender rights case before the Supreme Court — is now scheduled for March 28. That is most likely prior to Judge Gorsuch taking a seat on the Court (if confirmed) which means that he will not be able to vote on the outcome. Amicus briefs in support of G.G. (Gavin Grimm) are not in yet but the Court has narrowed the question to essentially the effect of the guidance that was issued by the Department of Education in conjunction with the Justice Department.

Gavin Grimm is a transgender male and a senior at Gloucester High School. Gavin used the boys' restroom for more than two months without incident. That is until some parents complained. The school board then voted to institute a trans exclusive policy that isolates and stigmatizing Gavin by requiring him to use “alternate facilities.”

The school board prevailed at the district court but was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit last August. The Supreme Court stayed the decision of the Fourth Circuit pending the outcome of the case. Gavin will have probably graduated by the time a ruling is handed down.

A 4-4 tie will sustain the Court of Appeals and lift the stay but the issue will not be settled. I look forward to reading some of the amicus briefs in support of Gavin. I believe that there is some precedent in his favor irrespective of the transgender issues. If that is the case the matter could be settled by a majority of the justices.

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