Supreme Court won't hear school's appeal in transgender bathroom access fight

The Supreme Court on Monday declined an appeal from a Virginia school board in a long-running battle over bathroom access, effectively handing a victory to transgender student Gavin Grimm.

The move came in an unsigned order, with two of the court’s more conservative justices, Clarence ThomasClarence ThomasA politicized Supreme Court? That was the point Locked and Loaded: Supreme Court is ready for a showdown on the Second Amendment Two conservatives resign from Biden's Supreme Court commission MORE and Samuel AlitoSamuel AlitoA politicized Supreme Court? That was the point Locked and Loaded: Supreme Court is ready for a showdown on the Second Amendment The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle MORE, indicating they would have taken up the appeal.

The development leaves in place a federal appeals court ruling in favor of Grimm, a transgender student who first sued his school district in Gloucester County, Va., in 2015 for access to the boys’ bathroom.

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Grimm’s victory in the lower court prompted Gloucester County’s appeal to the Supreme Court. The board had asked the justices to reverse the 2-1 decision by a panel of judges on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

The court’s denial to grant the appeal means that fewer than four justices agreed to take up the case.

LGBTQ rights advocates hailed the court’s move on Monday.

“Everyone has the right to high-quality, public education without the fear of being discriminated against simply for being brave enough to show up as you truly are,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

Updated at 10:28 a.m.