‘Incredible Victory’ for Trans Rights: Supreme Court Rejects School Bathroom Case

In what civil rights advocates hailed as “an incredible victory,” the United States Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear the case of Gavin Grimm, a former Virginia high school student who in 2015 sued his county board of education over its policy of denying transgender pupils use of restrooms corresponding with their gender identity.

“Trans youth deserve to use the bathroom in peace without being humiliated and stigmatized by their own school boards and elected officials.”
—Gavin Grimm, plaintiff

The high court’s move lets stand G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, a 2020 ruling in which the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found that policies segregating transgender students from their peers are unconstitutional.

Specifically, Grimm—who was represented by the ACLU and ACLU of Virginia—successfully argued that the school board’s discriminatory policy violated Title IX, the federal law barring discrimination on the basis of sex in education.

Grimm’s legal battle began when, as a 15-year-old Gloucester High School sophomore in 2015, he sued the county school board. Earlier that year, the Obama administration’s Department of Education issued guidance stating that “a school generally must treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity.”

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia dismissed Grimm’s case. He appealed, and in April 2016 the Fourth Circuit ruled in his favor.

However, the Supreme Court subsequently blocked an order allowing Grimm to use restrooms matching his gender identity, with the justices announcing in October 2016 that they would review the Fourth Circuit ruling.

Following the election of former President Donald Trump—whose Education Department reversed the Obama-era guidance—the Supreme Court vacated and remanded the case to the Fourth Circuit, which, after last year’s landmark Bostock v. Clayton County SCOTUS decision, ruled in favor of Grimm.

Grimm welcomed the Supreme Court’s move on Monday.

“I am glad that my yearslong fight to have my school see me for who I am is over,” he said in a statement. “Being forced to use the nurse’s room, a private bathroom, and the girl’s room was humiliating for me, and having to go to out-of-the-way bathrooms severely interfered with my education.”

“Trans youth deserve to use the bathroom in peace without being humiliated and stigmatized by their own school boards and elected officials,” Grimm asserted.

Josh Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project, said in a statement that “this is the third time in recent years that the Supreme Court has allowed appeals court decisions in support of transgender students to stand.”

“This is an incredible victory for Gavin and for transgender students around the country,” Block added. “Our work is not yet done, and the ACLU is continuing to fight against anti-trans laws targeting trans youth in states around the country.”

According to the LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD, there are scores of Republican-sponsored bills under consideration in a majority of U.S. states targeting the rights of transgender students. Numerous states have already passed laws or implemented executive orders erasing or limiting

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Supreme Court pass on transgender bathroom case frustrates conservatives

The Supreme Court took a pass Monday on a legal challenge over shared restrooms for transgender students at a Virginia high school, fueling frustration among right-tilting court-watchers eager for the conservative majority to resolve the intensifying legal clash over gender identity.

The court’s denial of certiorari allowed the lower court ruling to stand in favor of Gavin Grimm, a transgender male — a biological female identifying as a male — who sued the Gloucester County School Board for barring him from using the boys’ restroom, marking the third time the high court has refused to take up transgender access to public school facilities.

Josh Block, a senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union LGBTQ & HIV Project, said that in each of the cases, the appeals courts ruled in favor of transgender students seeking to use restrooms and other facilities based on their gender identity as opposed to their sex at birth.

“This an incredible victory for Gavin and for transgender students around the country,” Mr. Block said in a statement. “Our work is not yet done, and the ACLU is continuing to fight against anti-trans laws targeting trans youth in states around the country.”

Indeed, the court’s silence on gender identity discrimination since its 2020 decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia — which centered on employment — has created a legal void quickly being filled by conflicting rules from the Biden administration and red-state legislatures on transgender athletes and access to gender transition procedures and public facilities.

“Clearly, there’s a huge split in the country,” said Emilie Kao, director of The Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society. “There have been over 100 bills brought in the state legislatures to protect privacy, safety and fairness by using biological sex as the basis for policies in schools.”

Litigation has inevitably followed, leading legal analysts to agree that it’s not a matter of if the court will revisit the gender identity issue, but when.

“I’m somewhat optimistic that the court will take a case that raises the issue in the next year or so,” said Gail Heriot, a professor at the University of San Diego School of Law.

Mr. Grimm sued in June 2015 after the school board refused to let him use the boys’ facilities, instead offering him a private restroom, which he said was stigmatizing. 

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Mr. Grimm, now 22, reasoning that the Supreme Court’s 2020 decision in Bostock justified striking down the Gloucester County school system’s policy. 

Critics countered that Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who wrote the majority opinion in Bostock, specifically said the decision applied only to Title VII, not to “sex-segregated bathrooms, locker rooms, and dress codes.” He said the justices “do not prejudge any such question today.”

“[Gorsuch] said this only applies to Title VII on employment; this doesn’t apply to Title IX on bathrooms and sports, but obviously courts are applying it that way, the Biden administration is applying

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Supreme Court refuses to hear transgender bathroom case, a win for student Gavin Grimm

The Supreme Court on Monday handed the LGBT rights movement another victory, declining to hear an appeal that challenged the rights of transgender students to use the bathroom of their choosing.

The high court said it would not take a case involving Gavin Grimm and the school board of Gloucester County, Virginia. That board had refused Grimm the choice to use a boys bathroom in his school in a policy that also applied to other transgender students.

Grimm was born female but began identifying as male after his high school freshman year.

Activist Gavin Grimm arrives for the Time 100 Gala in the Manhattan borough of New York, New York, U.S. April 25, 2017.

Carlo Allegri | Reuters

Grimm’s right to use a boys bathroom was upheld in rulings by lower federal courts, which had ruled that he was protected by a federal law that bars school programs from discriminating against students on the basis of their sex.

Two of the Supreme Court’s more conservative justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, said they would have heard the case, according to the order released Monday.

The use of bathrooms by transgender students and the acceptance of such students on school athletic teams has become a flashpoint for conservatives in recent years.

“This is a victory for transgender students, who simply want to be themselves without worrying about being rejected or refused access to basic dignities,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, the CEO GLADD, a leading lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer advocacy group.

Medical and educational authorities all agree that transgender young people must be allowed to belong, learn, grow, and succeed as their authentic selves, just like any other child,” Ellis said. “Our schools and our society are safer and offer more opportunity for all when all are welcome. Our country and community are stronger thanks to Gavin Grimm’s courage and his fight for all kids to be included, valued and protected.” 

The ruling in Grimm’s favor comes a year after the Supreme Court ruled that federal civil rights law bars employers from discriminating against people because of how they identify their gender.

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The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented Grimm, said Monday’s ruling “is the third time in recent years that SCOTUS [the Supreme Court of the United States] has allowed appeals court decisions in support of trans students to remain.”

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Supreme Court declines to hear bathroom case in victory for transgender student

Supreme Court

Supreme Court Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Supreme Court is passing on a key case involving a transgender student, and the ACLU is celebrating the news as an “incredible victory.”

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear the case of Gavin Grimm, the transgender student who challenged a Virginia school board’s policy that restrooms are “limited to the corresponding biological genders,” NBC News reports. Lower courts sided with Grimm that this violated Title IX, the civil rights law against sex discrimination, and since the Supreme Court isn’t taking up the case, Grimm’s win stays in place.

Josh Block, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, told NBC that this was “an incredible victory for Gavin and for transgender students around the country,” while Grimm said, “I am glad that my years-long fight to have my school see me for who I am is over. Being forced to use the nurse’s room, a private bathroom, and the girl’s room was humiliating for me, and having to go to out-of-the-way bathrooms severely interfered with my education.”

According to CNN, Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito both said they would have taken up the case.

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Supreme Court won’t take up case challenging school’s policy allowing a transgender student to use bathroom corresponding with their identity

The petition was considered a long shot because of several complicated threshold issues, including the fact that the policy had been put in place five years ago for one student — referred to as “student A” — who has since graduated from the high school located in Dallas, Oregon. At issue was an individualized plan drawn up specifically for “student A.”

In declining to take up the petition, the justices left in place an appeals court decision earlier this year that held that the school’s policy intended to “avoid discrimination and ensure the safety and well-being of transgender students.”

“A policy that allows transgender students to use school bathroom and locker facilities that match their self-identified gender in the same manner that cisgender students utilize those facilities does not infringe Fourteenth Amendment privacy or parental rights or First Amendment free exercise rights, nor does it create actionable sex harassment under Title IX,” Judge Atsushi Wallace Tashima wrote for the appeals court.

The Supreme Court’s action Monday was taken without comment or noted dissent.

The American Civil Liberties Union cheered the court’s move on Monday, saying the justices’ message was that “transgender youth are not a threat to other students.”

“The decision not to take this case is an important and powerful message to trans and non-binary youth that they deserve to share space with and enjoy the benefits of school alongside their non-transgender peers,” Chase Strangio, the deputy director for trans justice with the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, said in a statement.
Federal appeals court sides with student in Virginia transgender bathroom case

Despite Monday’s order, the issue isn’t likely to go away soon. Other lower courts have addressed a related question brought by lawyers for transgender students concerning whether Title IX or the Constitution requires schools to allow transgender students to have equal access to bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. A case on that issue is expected to reach the court early next year.

The transgender bathroom debate has long been a flashpoint for the court. Supporters of LGBTQ rights fear that the Supreme Court’s newly solidified 6-3 conservative majority could prove to be hostile toward policies in favor of transgender students.

In late August, a federal appeals court handed a win to a transgender former student in a years-long fight over restroom policies, ruling that policies segregating transgender students from their peers are unconstitutional and violate federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education. That decision relied in part on the Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year in favor of LGBT workers.

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Coronavirus live news: doctor clears Trump to return to public events on Saturday; record global case rise | World news





Trump again calls for in-person debate, citing doctor’s letter

Updated





What we know so far: Trump expected to return to public engagements on Saturday

Updated





Donald Trump added more turbulence on Thursday to the US presidential race by refusing to participate in the next presidential debate with Joe Biden after it was changed to a virtual event to guard against the spread of Covid-19, prompting both campaigns to propose postponing it a week.

On Thursday morning, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) said that the next presidential debate, due on 15 October, would be a virtual affair, with the candidates appearing remotely.

“In order to protect the health and safety of all, the second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which the candidates would participate from separate remote locations,” it said.

But Trump, who was hospitalized for three days after disclosing last Friday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, blasted the format change announced by the nonpartisan commission in charge of the debates and expressed concern that his microphone could be cut off at the event:

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Coronavirus live news: record global case rise; Washington health officials ask Rose Garden guests to get tested | World news













Trump doctor says he anticipates president’s ‘return to public engagements’ on Saturday

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Washington warns those at White House super-spreader event

In an extraordinary step, the Washington, DC, Department of Health has released an open letter appealing to all White House staff and anyone who attended a September 26 event in the Rose Garden and inside the building to mark the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the supreme court to seek medical advice and take a Covid-19 test.

The letter indicates a lack of confidence in the White House medical team’s own contact tracing efforts regarding an ongoing virus outbreak that has infected Donald Trump, multiple senior staff members and two US senators, among others, The Associated Press writes.

Co-signed by nine other local health departments from neighboring jurisdictions in Maryland and Virginia, the letter flatly states a belief that contact tracing on the outbreak has been insufficient.

It says the public appeal is based on, “our preliminary understanding that there has been limited contact tracing performed to date, there may be other staff and residents at risk for exposure to Covid positive individuals.”

It asks all White House employees, anyone who attended the Sept. 26 event and anyone who may have been in contact with those people to “contact your local health department for further guidance/questions regarding your potential need to quarantine.”

The letter represents a rising level of concern and a clear shift in strategy by Mayor Muriel Bowser’s government, which had previously remained publicly hands-off and said it trusted the White House’s robust medical operation to handle its own contact tracing and follow-up.





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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Trump’s case should be “unifying” moment

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday she is praying for President Trump and hopes his coronavirus battle is a “unifying” moment for the country.

She also said she is not sure where the president might have gotten the virus, including whether someone on Capitol Hill was the source.

“I haven’t heard anything like that,” Mrs. Pelosi told CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I think the optics of it are those who were at the White House were the ones who brought the virus back to Capitol Hill.”

The speaker was likely referring to last weekend’s introduction of Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the White House Rose Garden. Two Republican senators who attended, plus other guests, later tested positive.

The speaker said she will defer to the House attending physician as to whether her chamber needs to beef up testing, though she noted there are thousands of employees on her side of the Capitol.

Mrs. Pelosi said she tested negative for the virus Friday and plans to be checked regularly. She said she is learning about the president’s condition from the media, like everyone else, despite her position.

“Prayers are with the president, first lady and all of those who surround him,” Mrs. Pelosi said.

She said she hopes contact tracers are able to figure out who else might need to be isolated.

“I hope it will be a signal that we have to do better at controlling the spread of this virus,” she said.

Mrs. Pelosi said the administration has been “anti-science” and needs to take testing and tracing and mask-wearing more seriously.

 

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Trump Aide Luna Tests Positive for Virus in New White House Case

(Bloomberg) — White House aide Nick Luna, who serves as a personal attendant to President Donald Trump, has tested positive for coronavirus infection, according to people familiar with the matter.



a man wearing a suit and tie: WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 01: (L-R) Special Assistnat to the President Nick Luna, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and son-in-law and senior advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump Jared Kushner attend an announcement that the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency approval for the antiviral drug remdesivir in the Oval Office at the White House May 01, 2020 in Washington, DC. A federal government trial found that patients with COVID-19 receiving Gilead Sciences' remdesivir recovered more quickly but the drug did not significantly reduce fatality rates. (Photo by Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)


© Photographer: Pool/Getty Images North America
WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 01: (L-R) Special Assistnat to the President Nick Luna, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and son-in-law and senior advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump Jared Kushner attend an announcement that the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency approval for the antiviral drug remdesivir in the Oval Office at the White House May 01, 2020 in Washington, DC. A federal government trial found that patients with COVID-19 receiving Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir recovered more quickly but the drug did not significantly reduce fatality rates. (Photo by Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)

Luna’s diagnosis emerged a little more than 24 hours after Trump entered the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment of Covid-19 following his own infection.

Known as one of Trump’s so-called body men, Luna is the latest member of Trump’s inner circle of White House personnel to contract coronavirus. Hope Hicks, one of the president’s closest advisers, fell ill on Wednesday while traveling with Trump to Minnesota.

Luna, who runs Oval Office operations for the White House, accompanied Trump on his trip to Cleveland for the presidential debate on Tuesday and was also aboard Air Force One on the Minnesota trip when Hicks first began experiencing symptoms.

Luna was one of the aides who had planned to accompany Trump on Thursday to a fundraiser at the president’s golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, but stayed behind because of recent close contact with Hicks.

The White House press office had no immediate comment.

Earlier this year, Luna married Cassidy Dumbauld, an assistant to White House senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.

In his job as a body man, Luna travels closely with the president, holding papers and helping keep Trump’s schedule.

In addition to Luna and Hicks, the president’s re-election campaign manager Bill Stepien, 2016 campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, and a number of prominent Republican lawmakers and officials have tested positive since Thursday.

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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White House triggers questions and confusion about Trump’s coronavirus case

A White House official later added that Trump’s vitals had become concerning Friday morning, hours before he was moved to the hospital. Meanwhile, numerous indications emerged that Trump had received oxygen at the White House during that time period — a step frequently needed for patients with serious coronavirus cases. The revelations swiftly cast a harsh spotlight on Conley’s carefully phrased denials about Trump needing oxygen assistance.

Conley and Trump’s medical team also sent shockwaves through the White House and political landscape with their timeline of Trump’s first positive coronavirus test. During the briefing, Conley said it had been 72 hours since Trump was diagnosed with Covid-19, suggesting Trump knew about his status on Wednesday, well before he revealed it overnight Thursday into Friday. That would mean Trump had gone on with his normal schedule, traveling and working in close proximity to aides and staffers, for well over a full day.

Yet again, though, the White House scrambled minutes after the briefing to clarify the timeline from the medical team. Another White House aide said the doctor had meant to say “day 3” instead of “72 hours,” since Trump had been diagnosed Thursday night. Conley made the clarification official a few hours later, releasing what amounted to the fourth statement of the day from the White House.

Still, questions lingered about Conley’s wording that Trump’s medical team had “repeated testing” on “Thursday afternoon,” perhaps indicating an earlier initial test before firm confirmation that evening.

It was a head-spinning sequence reflective of a White House — and president — not always known for transparency on health matters. As a candidate, Trump infamously had his doctor declare he would be the “healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” And as president, Trump’s former physician triggered eyerolls when he claimed the president could have lived to “200 years old” with a better diet. The White House has also given head-scratching explanations for an unusual trip to Walter Reed last year.

“The world has to know whether the president of the United States is in good health,” said Scott Jennings, who worked for President George W. Bush and is close to the Trump White House. “You cannot have inconsistent reports about the president’s health.”

“I am stunned that the White House put the president’s doctor out there and then issued a contradictory statement,” he added. “You can’t do that. This just invites questions about what’s going on there.”

Since the coronavirus hit the U.S., the White House has similarly been coy at times about staffers testing positive, with some of the more notable infections only being confirmed after leaks to the press.

Trump’s case has been no different. One former senior administration official said only a few people, like the president’s family, actually know the full truth about Trump’s condition. As a result, conflicting rumors about Trump’s health have been flying around the presidential orbit.

In a four-minute video released Saturday evening, Trump contradicted Meadows and other top officials who had framed his health

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