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Supreme Court Hands Surprise Victory to Transgender Student in Virginia Bathroom Case

Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic

Since the 2020 election, the right-wing has dramatically increased its attacks on transgender Americans, whether its in the speeches of its figureheads or the laws proposed by its legislatures.

Trans Americans have seen waves of legislation across dozens of states targeting their access to sports, targeting the rights of trans kids to explore their identities in safe and affirming environments, and—perhaps most famously—targeting their right to use the restroom.

For years, countless Republican lawmakers have called for bills that would force trans people to use the bathroom of their assigned sex—even if that would expose them to violence and harassment.

Thanks to a young trans man named Gavin Grimm, this policy just suffered a major defeat.

In 2015, a then-16 year old Grimm was forbidden by his school from using the boys' restroom, and instead made to use a unisex bathroom. With the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Grimm sued the school, claiming the policy violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, as well as laws banning sex discrimination in schools.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Grimm twice, in 2016 and 2020 (after the Supreme Court sent the case back to the Fourth Circuit for reevaluation).

And this past week, the Supreme Court denied standing to an appeal from the Virginia school, sustaining the Fourth Circuit's ruling, securing a massive victory for Grimm and trans students across the Fourth Circuit—including a number of southern states.

Only Conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito said they would've heard the case.

With the Court holding a 6-3 conservative majority in the aftermath of the Trump era, the victory came as a welcome surprise.




People praised Grimm for his victory and for his fight for trans rights.





The Court also refused to take up the case of a florist who was fighting for the "right" to refuse arrangements for same-sex weddings.