Supreme Court to hear Virginia transgender restroom case

By Doug G. Ware  |  Oct. 28, 2016 at 4:07 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- After months of speculation, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Friday that it will hear a Virginia case involving the fight over restroom access between a school district and a transgender teenager.

In June, a Virginia federal court ruled that 17-year-old Gavin Grimm had the freedom to use whichever restroom at his school matched his gender choice. In August, the Supreme Court stepped into the matter and issued a temporary injunction that blocked Grimm's bathroom freedom.

The issue over which restrooms transgender individuals can use at public facilities like schools and government buildings has been a hot one for months.

North Carolina is in the middle of a controversy regarding the matter after President Barack Obama's administration filed a lawsuit and issued a directive to all states this summer providing bathroom freedom to transgender students and public employees.

Twenty-three states have challenged the directive.

The Supreme Court's decision Friday means its eight justices will hear the Virginia school district's challenge to the Obama directive, and potentially settle the matter for good.

Many observers were surprised the high court decided to hear the case -- particularly since the panel still has one vacant seat, left by the death of Antonin Scalia in February. The decision on the transgender issue may very well come down to that vacant seat, some analysts believe. It's unknown when it will be filled.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case by April and render a decision by July.

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