Tuesday, May 31, 2016

4th Circuit Rejects Petition of Anti-Transgender Gloucester County School Board

After having been firmly bitch slapped by a panel of U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, the spineless Gloucester County School Board petitioned the Court for a "hearing en banc" - i.e, a reconsideration by all the judges on the court - in the hope that the board's anti-transgender policies would be upheld.  Today, the 4th Circuit rejected the requested rehearing leaving the political whores on the board who have prostituted themselves to Christian extremists with nowhere to go except for the U. S. Supreme (the denial is here).  Given the current 4-4 split on the Supreme Court thanks to GOP obstructionism, there is a significant chance that an appeal to the Supreme Court would be refused.   The one down side is that to date, the school board members are not personally liable for the litigation costs.  The Augusta Free Press has details.  Here are excerpts:
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will not rehear the case of a Gloucester County transgender high school student suing his school board over discriminatory bathroom policies. 
The court today denied the Gloucester County School Board’s request for an en banc review of an April decision which held that Title IX protects the rights of transgender students to use school restrooms consistent with their gender identity.
“Now that the Fourth Circuit’s decision is final, I hope my school board will finally do the right thing and let me go back to using the boys’ restroom again,” said Gavin Grimm, the high school junior who is the plaintiff in the case. “Transgender kids should not have to sue their own school boards just for the ability to use the same restrooms as everyone else.”
In an en banc review, cases are reconsidered by every active judge, of which there are 15 in the Fourth Circuit. In April, a three-judge panel ruled two-to-one in favor of Mr. Grimm in his challenge to Gloucester High School’s discriminatory restroom policy that segregates transgender students from their peers by requiring them to use “alternative, private” facilities. In order to hear an en banc review, a majority of the judges must vote to do so; however, none of the judges in this case requested a vote, according to the court order denying the request.
The April ruling marked the first time a federal appeals court has determined Title IX protects the rights of transgender students to use sex-segregated facilities that are consistent with their gender identity. The Fourth Circuit remanded the case for the district court to reevaluate Gavin’s request for a preliminary injunction under the proper legal standard.

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