Bathroom Foofaraw

Transgender rules


It may take a Supreme Court decision to decide where Gavin Grimm may relieve himself.

Grimm, a transgender teen in the Gloucester County, Virginia, school system, sued for the right to use the boys' restrooms. The school board resisted, implementing a policy that students must use either unisex bathrooms or bathrooms that match their "biological sex."

In a May letter, the Obama administration advised educators that it believes Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 requires public schools, when offering sex-segregated facilities, to accommodate students' gender expression. But several states are resisting this interpretation.

Two court actions in August have put the administration's efforts on hold. The state of Texas convinced a federal judge to issue a nationwide injunction against the guidance letter. The judge did not rule on whether the interpretation was correct, stating instead that the administration hadn't followed the proper procedures for creating these rules. But even before the ruling in Texas, the Supreme Court granted a temporary injunction to suspend a federal court ruling in Grimm's favor. That isn't a judgment about the policy, either—just a block put in place while the justices decide whether they'll take up the matter.