Trump administration withdraws support in transgender bathroom use appeal
In a legal brief submitted Friday, the Trump Administration has withdrawn the federal government’s opposition for a lawsuit hoping to block transgender students from using the restroom aligned with their gender identity.
The case deals with a challenge to federal guidelines passed down by the Department of Education which urged schools to be inclusive and support of trans students needs. The issue is set to be decided at the Supreme Court later this year when Virginia’s own GG vs. Gloucester County heads to the highest court in the land.
That case deals with Gavin Grimm, a teenage trans man who sued his school board after they enacted a policy forcing students to use restrooms and facilities aligned with their birth gender. This forced Grimm into the women’s room despite him presenting and identifying as male.
The challenge to the DOE guidelines came from a union of 12 states’ attorneys general, lead by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who has worked hard to press back against inclusive LGBTQ legislation across the board, including support for a TX law that would force trans folks into the wrong restroom.
On the campaign trail, Trump had signaled his support transgender bathroom use saying North Carolina’s HB2 had caused more harm than good. But it didn’t take him long, only a day in fact, to reverse course on the issue, saying “I think that local communities and states should make the decision.”
“And I feel very strongly about that. The federal government should not be involved,” he told.
The federal government removing itself from civil rights cases in the name of civil rights harkens back to the days of the Civil War when Southern leaders wished to keep slavery in place as they believed it was a state’s right to pass their own laws. This of course didn’t work, leading to the Civil War, Jim Crow Laws, “separate but equal” legislation and much more. It wasn’t until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when constitutional amendments were finally applied to oppressed Black populations below the Mason Dixon.
The Trump Administration legal brief, posted by the Washington Post, has few details except its intention to withdraw its appeal against a Fifth Circuit appeals case.
It also shows the Fed joining with Texas and other states opposing the order in their intention to withdraw the appeal, a specific shift in Obama’s policy.
The stay was put in place by Texas Judge Judge Reed O’Connor in October of last year. It was a response to the Department of Education issuing guidelines which encouraged schools to allow trans identifying students to use the restroom they align with.
“This case presents the difficult issue of balancing the protection of students’ rights and that of personal privacy when using school bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and other intimate facilities, while ensuring that no student is unnecessarily marginalized while attending school,” O’Connor wrote. “The resolution of this difficult policy issue is not, however, the subject of this Order. Instead, the Constitution assigns these policy choices to the appropriate elected and appointed officials, who must follow the proper legal procedure.”
The move by Trump is the first time the administration has taken steps to roll back LGBTQ progress after he decided to keep an Obama-era executive order in place which bared discrimination agianst LGBTQs for federal employees and employees of federal contractors.
Ahead of return to Fourth Circuit, Virginia teen sees massive legal support for fight against anti-trans bathroom laws
When a Virginia teen returns to the Fourth Circuit to fight for his right to use the correct bathroom, he’ll be armed with a new set of supportive briefs from legal groups and businesses from across the country and here in Virginia. Gavin Grimm, the 18-year-old transgender Gloucester High School student who’s suing his school [...]May 18, 2017
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