Action in the Fourth District

Recall that SCOTUS sent the case Grimm v Gloucester County School Board back to the Fourth District after the Trump DOJ and DOE withdrew interpretation of Title IX protections against discrimination from transgender students.

The Supreme Court ordered the 4th Circuit to reconsider the lawsuit, forcing Grimm’s lawyers to argue that Title IX’s protections against sex discrimination inherently prohibit discrimination against transgender students based on their gender identity.

On Tuesday 18 states and the District of Columbia filed amicus briefs supporting Gavin Grimm.

Policies barring transgender individuals from using the appropriate facilities for their gender are based in fear and violate the civil rights of our transgender community members.

--Washington AG Bob Ferguson

If entities receiving Title IX funds are allowed to discriminate in this way, transgender people will be denied equality in defendant’s schools and in many other places. The amici States have important interests in ensuring that their transgender populations do not experience indignity and discrimination when they travel to other States.

Apple, eBay, Microsoft, Twitter and a host of other tech giants joined 55 major U.S. businesses in asking a federal appeals court on Tuesday to allow a Virginia high school student to use the restroom that he chooses.

In an amicus brief filed with the court on Monday, a total of 59 companies said that a restroom ban “adversely affects [their] businesses, employees and customers, and undermines [companies’] ability to build and maintain the diverse and inclusive workplaces that are essential to the success of their companies.” The companies noted that they employ transgender workers, and some of their workers have transgender children.

Gender identity discrimination is a form of sex discrimination. Amici respectfully request that the Court consider the business consequences of such discrimination when rendering a decision in this case.

The consequences of discrimination follow transgender students and their classmates into the legal profession, warned the American Bar Association in an amicus brief that urged a federal appellate court to find that such unfairness violates federal civil rights.

Transgender students who suffer academically are less likely to pursue a legal education, depriving the bar of voices capable of speaking on behalf of those marginalized for their gender. Moreover, their classmates who have become lawyers are left less able to empathize with, and to provide effective representation for, their transgender or gender-nonconforming clients.

--ABA president Linda Klein

Diversity and inclusion are essential features of amici’s businesses, and recruiting and retaining the best employees—including those in or allied with the transgender community—is a critical component of their diversity missions.

--ABA brief

Others filing briefs included:

  • Major medical associations representing the scientific and medical consensus, including American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychiatric Association and Endocrine Society
  • Labor unions representing more than a million teachers, as well as the National Parent Teacher Association and GLSEN
  • Major civil rights organizations including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
  • Former Obama Administration officials
  • A number of other groups and individuals across the country representing educators, students, parents, lawyers, and scientists

The outpouring of support for Gavin from virtually every community across the country today is simply breathtaking. Gavin’s fight has inspired and empowered so many people to stand up for the transgender community. We have seen teachers, business leaders, political leaders, medical professionals, mothers and fathers, students, and many others stand up and speak out on behalf of trans students. The briefs filed this week are a reminder that the School Board’s arguments have no basis in reality.

--ACLU attorney Josh Block

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