gg v gloucester countyThe United States Supreme Court has decided to take up the high-profile Virginia transgender student case, G.G. v. Gloucester Cnty. Sch. Bd., No 15-2056, in which a transgender male sued to allow access to the boys’ restroom in accordance with his gender identity.  The School Board of Gloucester County, Virginia barred the 17-year-old from using the boys’ restroom and instead required students to use restrooms consistent with their biological gender or, alternatively, a private single bathroom accommodation.  This suit involves a challenge to the U.S. Department of Education guidance on Title IX and its regulations stating that a funding recipient providing sex-separated facilities must “generally treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity.”

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals initially ruled that the trial court had to give deference to the Department of Education’s guidance.  The trial court then ordered the school system to allow the student to use the boys’ restroom.  An injunction was issued barring the school board from enforcing its bathroom policy.  The school board appealed and asked for a stay of the injunction, but the stay was denied.

Then, on July 14, 2016, the board took their request to the United States Supreme Court, asking the Court to block the injunction pending appeal.  The Supreme Court sided with the board and blocked the injunction and allowed the board to prevent use of the boys’ bathroom while it decided whether to take up the case.

The Supreme Court, indeed, will take up the case.  The Court will consider whether deference should extend to the Department of Education’s guidance and whether the Department of Education’s interpretation of Title IX should be given effect, so that a funding recipient providing sex-separated facilities must “generally treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity.”

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