Last year, the Education and Justice departments issued joint guidance directing schools to let transgender students use facilities that correspond with their gender identity.
The Washington Post reports that the Supreme Court delegated the case back to the lower court because President Donald Trump rescinded protections for trans students put in place by an Obama administration guidance, which stated title IX protections should also encapsulate trans folks in public schools.
In a one-sentence statement, the United States Supreme Court announced that it would not hear a major case involving transgender access to the restrooms corresponding to gender identity as opposed to biological sex.
The school district board had chose to allow Gavin access to a unisex bathroom facility at school, after proposing that students in the district had to use locker room and restroom facilities according to their birth gender.
However, after Trump made an executive order to overturn Obama's previous rulings by withdrawing his support for bathroom laws protecting the choices of transgender students, the issue wasno longer considered a civil rights violation.
Monday's decision means the case will go back to a court of appeals and likely removes the possibility that the Supreme Court will hear it this term. "We are, however, confident that the Court of Appeals will again conclude - as most courts have - that anti-gender discrimination laws like Title IX protect transgender students and forbid schools from singling them out".
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"Bottom line with this is that schools still have a responsibility to make sure that these students are treated respectfully and safely", he said.
No appeals court has yet undertaken that more independent analysis, and the Supreme Court typically is reluctant to do so without at least one appellate opinion to review, and usually more than one. He is still banned from the boy's bathroom and uses a restroom in the nurse's office. Now it'll be up to that lower court to decide what Title IX means, and whether the law prohibits discrimination based on gender identity.
Transgender advocates were hoping for a Supreme Court decision that would come down in favor of transgender students and clarify the issue on a national level.
LGBT rights lawyer Josh Brock said he is disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision Monday to avoid ruling on his client's case regarding bathroom access but that this is merely a detour - not a defeat. The court previously had set arguments in the case for March 28.
"Title IX is the same today as it was yesterday and we are confident the courts will agree with us on that", said Block.