In 2015, at age 16, Grimm stood before the Virginia school board and pleaded, "All I want to do is be a normal child and use the restroom in peace".
The Trump administration rescinded landmark protections for transgender students ordered by former President Barack Obama a year ago that had permitted them to use bathrooms that matched their gender identity. As CNN notes, this is a significant move: In sending the case back, the Supreme Court is letting the lower courts determine if discrimination based on gender identity equates to discrimination based on sex-and how the federal law should apply. The case, involving seventeen-year-old Gavin Grimm and the Gloucester County school board, is being watched closely in North Carolina, because a ruling would have a direct bearing on portions of House Bill 2 that require people to use public restrooms corresponding to their birth certificates.
The Supreme Court's decision means the court will not hear arguments in Grimm's case. He stressed, "Title IX means the same thing today as it meant yesterday" since the "lower courts already have held that it protects trans kids", but with Trump's recent withdrawal from defending said protections, the future of Grimm's case is uncertain. Since then, Gavin has generally used the nurse's restroom, though the school has since installed three single-user bathrooms.
For the transgender rights community, which has led what has become the nation's latest civil rights movement, its desire to have a clear-cut and final Supreme Court ruling on whether discrimination based on gender identity is illegal will now have to wait for further developments in lower courts across the nation.
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The US Supreme Court has reversed its decision to hear a landmark case on transgender bathroom rights. Now the 4 Circuit will have to decide whether Title IX, read on its own, prohibits gender identity discrimination as a form of "sex discrimination".
School officials tried to accommodate G.G., calling her by her preferred boy's name Gavin, but asked that she use the unisex bathroom in the nurse's office rather than use the boys' bathrooms and locker rooms alongside biological boys and adult men. "The joint decision made today by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education ... paves the way for an open and inclusive process to take place at the local level with input from parents, students, teachers and administrators".
Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, said he agrees that Title IX should include protecting transgender rights, and he is disappointed with the Supreme Court's decision. The appeals court found that to be a reasonable interpretation of Title IX.