U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court stay in transgender teen's case allows school to enforce restroom restriction

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Transgender bathroom sign

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed a Virginia school to temporarily enforce its policy that students use bathrooms corresponding with their “biological genders.”

The court voted 5-3 to stay a federal judge’s injunction requiring the school in Gloucester County, Virginia, to allow a transgender teen who identifies as male to use the boys’ restroom, report the Washington Post, the New York Times, SCOTUSblog and the National Law Journal.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer provided the necessary fifth vote to grant the stay. Breyer said in a concurrence that the stay will preserve the status quo and he voted for it “as a courtesy.” In the past, courtesy stays were most often granted in last-minute death penalty proceedings, according to SCOTUSblog.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan would have denied the stay.

A federal judge had issued the injunction on the teen’s behalf after the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the teen’s Title IX lawsuit to proceed. The federal law bars schools receiving federal funds from discriminating on the basis of sex.

The Supreme Court order stayed the injunction to allow for the filing of a writ of certiorari. The stay will terminate if the cert petition is denied. If cert is granted, the stay will remain in effect until an opinion is issued.

The case is G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board.

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