The Supreme Court is refusing to hear the case of Gavin Grimm, a transgender student who wants to choose the bathroom he uses at his public high school.
The court was previously scheduled to hear arguments in the case later this month. However, it changed course following the Trump administration’s recent decision to withdraw an Obama administration policy that required schools to allow students to use the bathroom of their chosen gender.
A lower court in Virginia will decide the case and determine whether the federal anti-discrimination law known as Title IX applies to gender identity and transgender students.
The high court’s decision signals its unwillingness to weigh in on a highly charged and sensitive public debate. Now, the issue will likely percolate for several years and force a variety of lower courts around the country to think through the issue as transgender activists bring their cases.
Transgender advocates were hoping for a Supreme Court decision that would come down in favor of transgender students and clarify the issue on a national level.
Many conservatives have argued that this issue is best decided locally.
“School officials should be free to protect their students’ privacy, safety, and dignity without federal government interference,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Kerri Kupec.
“The first duty of school districts is to protect the bodily privacy rights of all of the students who attend their schools and to respect the rights of parents who understandably don’t want their children exposed in intimate changing areas like locker rooms and showers,” Kupec said.