Federal appeals court won't reconsider Virginia school's transgender bathroom rule
Posted May 31, 2016
RICHMOND, Va. — In a procedural step on the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday declined to revisit its April decision in favor of a Virginia transgender high school student's right to use the restroom of his choice.
A three-judge panel of the same court ruled in April that a policy that requires transgender students use "alternative, private" facilities is discriminatory.
The Virginia case has been closely watched by public schools and transgender-rights activists across the country, and it is expected to eventually wind up before the Supreme Court.
North Carolina, which faces a lawsuit challenging a new state law requiring transgender people to use the public bathroom that corresponds to the sex listed on their birth certificate, is part of the 4th Circuit and must follow rulings issued by the court. North Carolina's law, commonly referred to as House Bill 2, also bars cities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances that provide protections for gay and transgender people, which has prompted a national backlash. Businesses and politicians have announced boycotts of North Carolina, and legal challenges ensure that the wedge issue will dominate Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's re-election campaign.
McCrory disagreed with the ruling when it was issued in April, calling it "pretty aggressive action." Schools should be allowed to set their own bathroom policies, he said, including making special arrangements as needed for transgender students.