Supreme Court sends transgender case back to lower court

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Supreme Court on Monday sent a case involving a transgender high school student back to a lower court, a temporary setback for the student.

Monday’s announcement vacates a lower court’s decision in the case of Gavin Grimm, a Virginia student who is seeking to use school bathrooms that align with his gender identity. Monday’s decision means the case will go back to a court of appeals and likely removes the possibility that the Supreme Court will hear it this term.

The decision comes in the wake of a change in policy by the Trump administration, which last month revoked Obama-era guidance on protections for transgender students in public schools.

The lower court will now have to answer the bigger — and far more important — question of whether federal law and not just Executive Branch interpretations of it treat discrimination on the basis of gender identity as tantamount to sex discrimination. The Supreme Court’s announcement has the effect of letting a lower court answer that question first.