SCOTUS Won’t Intervene In Transgender Bathroom Debate

( – The Supreme Court officially rejected an opportunity to wade into the transgender bathroom debate by rejecting an Indiana public school district’s request for an appeal on a lower court ruling.

The case began in Martinsville, Indiana in 2021, when a “transgender boy” (a natal female who says she feels like a boy on the inside) referred to as “A.C.” in court documents requested to use the boys’ bathrooms at her middle school. The school refused, telling the student that they were only permitted to use the bathrooms designated for females or the single person bathroom in the nurse’s office, as per the district’s policy.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took the student’s case, and they sued the school district and the principal of the middle school, alleging “irreparable harm” for not being allowed to use the same bathroom as the boys in the school, who are biologically different from A.C.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Pratt sided with the plaintiff in the case in 2022, requiring the middle school allow her to use the bathrooms designated for males. The case was moved up to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, who agreed with the original ruling that the school district violated the student’s constitutional rights.

Though the school district attempted to get the case in front of the highest court in the U.S., the Supreme Court declined to take on the case, allowing the decision from the lower court to stand. However, federal courts have not been consistent on the issue. Though the Chicago Circuit Court and a Virginia Appeals Court have ruled on the side of transgender students, an Atlanta Appeals Court has ruled against transgender students.

The judge who issued the 7th Circuit ruling in favor of the plaintiff said that she anticipates that the Supreme Court will eventually take on a case about transgender rights, as litigation over the issue is already happening “all over the country.”

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