A big showdown in the Supreme Court over transgender rights just got pushed off the docket. The court instead has handed a transgender teen's high-profile case back to a lower court, reports the AP. The justices said Monday they have opted not to decide whether a federal anti-discrimination law gives high school senior Gavin Grimm the right to use the boys' bathroom in his Virginia school. The case had been scheduled for arguments in late March. Grimm, who was born with female genitals but identifies as a male, has effectively become the face of the current transgender rights movement because of his lawsuit, notes Bloomberg. In its move Monday, the Supreme Court asked a lower court in Virginia to evaluate the federal law known as Title IX and the extent to which it applies to transgender students.
The high court action follows the Trump administration's recent decision to withdraw a directive issued during former President Obama's tenure that advised schools to allow students to use the bathroom of their chosen gender, not biological birth. The administration action triggered legal wrangling that ended with Monday's order. In essence, the federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., had relied on the Obama administration's interpretation of Title IX to side with Grimm. Now that the Trump administration has revised that guidance, the federal court will be asked to take another look. For Grimm, the order means that he probably will graduate with the issue unresolved, with his ability to use the boys' bathroom blocked by a policy of the Gloucester County school board.