On Monday, the Supreme Court sent trans student Gavin Grimm back to the appeals court, which previously heard Grimm challenge the Gloucester County School Board policy that required students use the restroom corresponding to their biological sex. Grimm is currently forced to use a separate, single-stall restroom that no other student has to use.
Advocates for Grimm’s cause are calling the court’s refusal a “detour” and not a defeat.
That the justices’ decision was affected by the Trump administration’s recent withdrawal of “pro-transgender guidance that had been key to the appeals court’s decision in favor of Grimm.” The case, which was originally scheduled to be heard on March 28, is going back to the U.S. Court Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Virginia filed the lawsuit on behalf of Grimm, arguing that the bathroom policy is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment and is in breach of Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972, a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in schools.
On Twitter, ACLU lawyer Joshua Block noted that the decision “is a detour, not the end of the road” and that “far too many trans kids across the country will be held in limbo for another 1-2 years.”
Grimm’s case received widespread attention over the past couple of months, bolstered by actress Laverne Cox who told people to “Google Gavin Grimm” at the 2017 Grammys before introducing Lady Gaga and Metallica.
Soon after the Supreme Court announced its decision, many people shared their disappointment on Twitter and social media. However, a common sentiment was that people will also continue the fight for trans rights.
While on the surface it appears that Grimm’s case is just about the right to use the bathroom, many people have pointed out that it’s much more than that. Cox recently appeared on MSNBC where she said, “When trans people can’t access public bathrooms we can’t go to school effectively, go to work effectively, access healthcare facilities, it’s about us existing in public space.”
Grimm also shared on his Facebook page an update, thanking people for all the support and that he will be sharing more information once his team knows more.