Federal appeals court denies request for review in transgender bathroom case

lawThe U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will not rehear the case of a Gloucester County transgender high school student suing his school board over discriminatory bathroom policies.

The court today denied the Gloucester County School Board’s request for an en banc review of an April decision which held that Title IX protects the rights of transgender students to use school restrooms consistent with their gender identity.

“Now that the Fourth Circuit’s decision is final, I hope my school board will finally do the right thing and let me go back to using the boys’ restroom again,” said Gavin Grimm, the high school junior who is the plaintiff in the case. “Transgender kids should not have to sue their own school boards just for the ability to use the same restrooms as everyone else.”

In an en banc review, cases are reconsidered by every active judge, of which there are 15 in the Fourth Circuit. In April, a three-judge panel ruled two-to-one in favor of Mr. Grimm in his challenge to Gloucester High School’s discriminatory restroom policy that segregates transgender students from their peers by requiring them to use “alternative, private” facilities. In order to hear an en banc review, a majority of the judges must vote to do so; however, none of the judges in this case requested a vote, according to the court order denying the request.

The April ruling marked the first time a federal appeals court has determined Title IX protects the rights of transgender students to use sex-segregated facilities that are consistent with their gender identity. The Fourth Circuit remanded the case for the district court to reevaluate Gavin’s request for a preliminary injunction under the proper legal standard.

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