The Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in Gloucester County School Board v. Gavin Grimm, a case concerning school bathroom rules for transgender students. In his California Lawyer article “Which Bathroom Do You Use?” Partner Gregory Rolen discusses how Grimm will further set precedent for other school-related activities, including locker room access, athletics, dress code and more.
For the first time, the Supreme Court has the opportunity to weigh in on transgender rights, specifically whether Title IX–which states that no person shall be excluded or discriminated against under any educational program on the basis of sex–includes transgender status. Rolen notes that the Court generally refrains from ruling on sensitive issues, if it’s not required, and Grimm may be no different.
One aspect that complicates the matter is that the case is set to be heard before a Court in equipoise. “This makes the possibility of a 4-4 tie possible, if not probable,” said Rolen. “If there is such a deadlock, the Fourth Circuit’s ruling will stand, and Gavin will be allowed to use the boys’ restroom.”