The debate has become heated in America around transgender individuals’ right to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. These feuds have made their way into the legal system, with debates over whether it violates Title IX or the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
A case from Virginia and the Federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, has been granted cert from the Supreme Court. Since the petitioner to the Fourth Circuit won their appeal, the case before the Supreme Court is called Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. The case comes before the Supreme Court for debate on March 28, with one catch.
In light of Trump administration’s rejection of previous transgender bathroom guidelines for public education, the Court, on Feb. 23, asked both sides how they would like the case to proceed. The Obama administration, according to SCOTUSblog, had interpreted a 1975 statute to mean schools should “treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity.”
It’s also important to note that the questions approved for cert did not address the Equal Protections clause and only sought to answer two questions: (1) “If Auer is retained, should deference extend to an unpublished agency letter that, among other things, does not carry the force of law and was adopted in the context of the very dispute in which deference is sought?” and (2) “With or without deference to the agency, should the Department’s specific interpretation of Title IX and 34 C.F.R. § 106.33 be given effect?”
In the cert petition, the filers noted that the precedent and doctrine from the 1997 case Auer required the Fourth Circuit give deference to the letter.