US supreme court declines to take up bathroom case in win for trans rights

US supreme court on Monday rejected a Virginia school board’s attempt to reinstate a transgender bathroom ban.

Over two dissenting votes, the justices left in place lower-court rulings that found the policy unconstitutional. The case involved a former high school student, Gavin Grimm, who filed a federal lawsuit after he was told he could not use the boys’ bathroom at his public high school.

The policy of the school board for Gloucester county, Virginia required Grimm to use restrooms that corresponded with his biological sex – female – or private bathrooms.

Last August, the US court of appeals for the fourth circuit ruled that the board had practiced sex-based discrimination and violated Grimm’s 14th amendment rights by prohibiting him from using the boys’ restroom.

Judge Henry Floyd : “The proudest moments of the federal judiciary have been when we affirm the burgeoning values of our bright youth, rather than preserve the prejudices of the past.”

Nonetheless, on the supreme court Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, two of the most hardline justices on a panel slanted 6-3 in favor of conservatives, voted to hear the board’s appeal.

Upholding the decision of the appeals court sets a strong legal precedent. But because the supreme court has chosen not to hear the case itself, there is still no nationwide ruling on the issue.

After learning that the supreme court refused to hear the case, Grimm, 现在 22, said that his long court battle was over.

“We won,” he tweeted. “Honored to have been part of this victory.”

David Corrigan, an attorney for the school board, did not immediately comment.

In its petition asking the court to hear the case, the school board argued that its bathroom policy posed a “pressing federal question of national importance”.

The board argued previously that federal laws protect against discrimination based on sex, not gender identity. Because Grimm had not undergone sex-reassignment surgery and still had female genitalia, the board said he remained anatomically female.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented Grimm in his seven-year lawsuit, argued that federal law makes it clear transgender students are protected from discrimination.