Supreme Court asked to hear transgender bathroom case

A Virginia school board asked the Supreme Court Monday to hear its case challenging a lower court’s decision to let a transgender student use the boys' bathroom.

The case centers on Gavin Grimm, 17, a transgender student who was barred from using the boys' bathroom after the Gloucester County School Board enacted a policy in December 2014 requiring students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their biological gender. Grimm, who is entering his junior year, was born female.


The school board asked the high court Monday to overturn the Fourth Circuit’s decision siding with Grimm, who argued that the policy violated Title IX, a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination by schools.

The ruling led the district court to issue a preliminary injunction forcing the school board to let him use the boys' bathroom.

The Supreme Court, however, stopped that court order earlier this month in granting a request from the school board to temporarily block the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit's ruling.

The short-handed court voted 5-3 to “keep the status quo until the Court considers the forthcoming petition for certiorari."

In its petition filed Monday, the school board said the case is not about whether Grimm should be allowed to access the boys' bathroom or whether Title IX can be interpreted to mean that recipients must allow student to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

“Fundamentally, this case is about whether an agency employee can impose that policy in a piece of private correspondence,” the school board said in court documents. “If the court looks the other way, the agency officials in this case — and in a host of others to come — will have become a law unto themselves.”