The Supreme Court on Monday opted out of hearing a case involving a Virginia public school’s appeal of a lower court’s decision, which ruled that the school could not prevent a transgender student from using the bathroom that corresponds to his gender identity.
The 2020 case involved Gavin Grimm and the Gloucester County School Board. Grimm, a biological female, is transgender and now identifies as a male. He sought to use the men’s bathroom in his school. The principal of the public school initially allowed Grimm to use the men’s bathroom, but soon after, the school board adopted a policy that stated that restrooms were “limited to the corresponding biological genders.”
The Richmond-based 4th U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the policy of the school board violated Title IX, a federal law that prevents discrimination by sex in education. The Court also ruled that the school board did not meet the constitutional requirement that all people must be treated equally under the law.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to reject the appeal. “This is an incredible victory for Gavin and for transgender students around the country,” Josh Block, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU, remarked.
Though the Supreme Court rejected the school board’s appeal without comment, it is important to note that conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito indicated their support for hearing the case.
The decision comes as the Biden administration assumes a more progressive approach to gender and sexual orientation. Unlike Former President Trump, President Biden claims that Title IX serves to protect both gender identity and sexual orientation. Though Biden has yet to specifically address any school bathroom disputes, his stance on transgender rights would indicate his support for Gavin Grimm.
In the wake of the Court’s decision, conservatives take note of what lies ahead for the rest of Biden’s term. The White House will continue to reverse its predecessor’s positions on LGBT issues. And with that, the promised “return to normalcy” will grow more ironic by the day.