Though the Supreme Court sent Gavin Grimm’s bathroom access lawsuit back to lower courts, the issue has returned to the high court.
This time, the Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) in Wisconsin is asking SCOTUS to reverse the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision granting Ashton Whitaker the right to use the boy’s bathroom.
The Circuit Courtruled unanimously in May, that the district’s refusal to let Whitaker, then 17, use male facilities was “sex stereotyping,” and a direct violation of his rights under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
School officials disagreed, and claim it’s a “matter of national importance” that could affect other circumstances, including locker rooms, showers, and sleeping arrangements on overnight trips. The district filed a petition last week asking the Supreme Court to revisit the ruling.
If SCOTUS takes the case, it could mean a clearer understanding of Title IX gender-based protections—in particular, if they apply to gender identity. of course, that clarification might not be one the LGBT community likes.
Whitaker’s attorneys at the Transgender Law Center shared their disappointment.
“Both the federal district court and the appeals court have unambiguously ruled that KUSD violated Ash’s rights and subjected him to unnecessary harm,” they said in a statement. “We’re disappointed that KUSD, instead of accepting these rulings, has chosen to waste time and money by filing an ill-conceived petition for review with the Supreme Court… We are confident that KUSD’s wrongheaded and legally incorrect position will continue to be rejected, as it has been at every stage of this case so far.”
This week, Lambda Legal also petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case of Jameka Evans, a security guard who was harassed and forced out of her job because she is a lesbian who doesn’t conform to gender norms in her appearance.