ACLU files opposition to review in transgender student case

aclu virginiaIn a brief filed with the Supreme Court today, the ACLU and the ACLU of Virginia argue that the Supreme Court should not step in to review a ruling that a local school board violated federal law when it denied a transgender boy access to restrooms consistent with his gender identity.

The ACLU brought the case on behalf of Gavin Grimm in response to the Gloucester County School Board’s discriminatory policy forcing him to use separate single-stall restrooms that no other student is required to use. After a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the district court issued a preliminary injunction requiring that Grimm be permitted to use the boys’ restroom during his senior year of high school, which began earlier this month. On August 3, the Supreme Court issued a stay halting the order until it decides whether to grant review of the case.

“We are filing our brief early so that the Supreme Court can consider the request for review as soon as possible,” said Joshua Block, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT Project. “We hope the Supreme Court rejects the school board’s request to hear the case and that Gavin will finally be able to attend high school without being singled out and stigmatized every time he has to do something as basic as using the restroom. Every day that the stay remains in effect, Gavin loses another day of his senior year that he will never get back.”

In today’s brief, the ACLU argues that the court of appeals ruling was correct and that, at the very least, the Supreme Court should follow its customary practice and wait to see if a conflict develops after other courts of appeals across the country have ruled on similar cases across the country before taking a case to rule on the legal question.

“Gavin has shown tremendous patience and courage throughout this process.  We hope that the Supreme Court declines to hear the case and allows him to move on with his life and education, free to use the restroom at school that corresponds to his gender identity,” said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, the Executive Director of the ACLU of Virginia.

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