Transgender teenager Gavin Grimm will start the school year in Gloucester County, Virginia, unable to use the bathroom matching his gender identity.
Even in recess, the Supreme Court decided to stay a ruling by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that would have allowed Grimm to use the boys’ restroom and other facilities as a transgender male.
The court decided 5-3, with Justice Stephen Beyer joining the four conservative justices to “preserve the status quo” and give the school board the “courtesy” of keeping in place the discriminatory policy until the high court can decide whether to hear the case in Washington.
The stay is the Supreme Court’s first significant action on legal battles over “bathroom laws” aimed at keeping transgender people out of restrooms and changing rooms matching their gender identity. Nearly two dozen states have sued the Justice and Education departments over the Obama administration expanding federal civil rights law to protect gender identity in education and employment.