Court Battles

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

The Supreme Court is seen at sunset on June 7
Greg Nash

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 Thomas and Samuel Alito, 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.

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.

Tags Clarence Thomas Samuel Alito Supreme Court transgender rights Virginia

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