Supreme Court to Rule On Trans Bathroom Access

Image via AP.
Image via AP.

A transgender boy’s battle to use the restroom of his choosing at his Virginia high school has reached the Supreme Court.


Gavin Grimm, 17, was briefly allowed by administrators at his Gloucester high school to use the boys bathroom—that is, until the local school board passed a requirement that students use the bathrooms and locker rooms that “corresponded with their biological genders.” Grimm, with help from the ACLU, sued the school board, igniting an ideological war over gender identity and the rights to which trans people are entitled.

In a statement issued Friday, Grimm said:

“I never thought that my restroom use would ever turn into any kind of national debate. The only thing I ever asked for was the right to be treated like everyone else.”

“While I’m disappointed that I will have to spend my final school year being singled out and treated differently from every other guy, I will do everything I can to make sure that other transgender students don’t have to go through the same experience.”

Grimm’s case was taken to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit last year, where the board’s policy was ruled unlawful under Title IX. While a trial judge ordered the school to allow Grimm to use the bathroom of his choosing, it did not, however, result in the setting of a national precedent.

Now, the case will be debated by the nation’s highest court after the justices accepted a petition from the Gloucester board to overturn the lower court’s order. From the Washington Post:

In August, the Supreme Court voted 5 to 3 to temporarily stay that lower court’s ruling while it remained on appeal. In that order granting the stay, Justice Stephen G. Breyer said he was joining the conservative justices as a “courtesy” that would preserve the status quo while the court considered whether to accept the case.

The court is currently operating with eight members following the death of Antonin Scalia in February. The case won’t be heard until next year, and it’s unclear whether the seat will even be filled by then.


What a brave kid. I know I would not have had the fortitude at age 17 to deal with such social pressure much less handle the stress of a supreme court case at the same time.

So when the ruling remains “on appeal”, does that mean he can use the bathroom of his choice, or does he have to follow the local board’s requirement? The wording is a bit unclear.