The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled in favor of Gavin Grimm, the 17-year-old female-to-male transgender teen who took on his local school district when they refused to allow him to use the boys’ restrooms and locker facilities at his high school. However, the ruling did not tackle the heart of the matter regarding Title IX. The 4th Circuit ruled in Gavin’s favor based on the Title IX guidelines issued by the Obama Administration instructing school districts to allow transgender kids to use the restroom of their gender identity, not the gender stated on their birth certificate.
However, the Trump Administration has withdrawn the guidelines from the Obama Administration. Monday, the US Supreme Court has vacated the earlier decision in GG vs Gloucester County School District and returned the case to the 4th Circuit Court for reconsideration. With the guidelines no longer a consideration, the 4th Circuit Court will now have to decide the matter regarding whether the Title IX prohibition of discrimination based on sex also extends to gender identity.
The attorneys for both the plaintiff and the defendant had requested that the Supreme Court retain the case and make the Title IX determination, but the court returned the case to the 4th Circuit Court. This will likely delay settling this case until next year. Regardless of the 4th Circuit Court’s ruling after reconsideration, the case will likely again be appealed to the Supreme Court for a final determination regarding the Title IX argument. By that time, the Supreme Court will likely be back to full strength, with 9 members. President Trump has nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the court. The US Senate has not yet taken up consideration of Judge Gorsuch’s nomination.