Supreme Court throws out case against transgender student accommodations


Supreme Court of the United States. Credit: CNBC

WASHINGTON – On Monday, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Oregon challenging a policy that let students use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their chosen gender. This would ultimately preserve an Oregon public school district policy of accommodating for the needs of transgender students. The justices did leave a lower court ruling that threw out a lawsuit against Dallas School District No. 2 in rural western Oregon. The lawsuit was formed by the parents of a small group of students. The plaintiffs had argued that the policy violated students’ rights to privacy and religious freedom under the U.S. Constitution as well as a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. The use of bathrooms corresponding to transgender peoples’ gender has been a continuous case brought to the Supreme Court. Justice Neil Gorsuch made clear that the ruling of the landmark decision in June, that federal law prohibits workplace discrimination against gay and transgender employees, was not addressing “bathrooms, locker rooms or anything else of the kind.” 

 This Oregon lawsuit was brought to the court in 2017 following when a Dallas High School implemented a school policy that would accommodate transgender students. The plaintiffs argued that this was a risk to students’ privacy and caused other students embarrassment or fear of sharing intimate spaces with a student of the opposite sex. This lawsuit did get thrown out by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in February but was appealed to the Supreme Court by the plaintiffs. 


(Compiled from Reuters for the Guilford Voyager by Za’Nia Harris, original reporting by Andrew Chang)