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It’s a Detour, Not a Derailment: Gavin Grimm’s Case Moved From SCOTUS to Lower Court


A disappointing setback today in the case of Gavin Grimm as the Supreme Court of the United States moved that his case against the Gloucester County School Board be heard in a lower court. The SCOTUS was scheduled to hear Grimm’s case against the school board, where he was arguing for the right to use the bathroom that is aligned with his gender identity (i.e., the correct bathroom). The case revolved around Title IX, an amendment that makes discrimination on the basis of sex illegal.

The SCOTUS ruling was expected to be a milestone, something that set precedent for further Title IX cases hinging on gender identity to come. But after the Trump administration rescinded guidelines to extend Title IX protections to trans students (set by the Obama administration), the court decided that the case should be re-heard in light of the rescission.

What’s more, the move feels a bit like a stalling tactic, as there is still a vacant seat in the court. Judge Antonin Scalia passed away, and his seat has been left open for over a year as Republicans pursued obstructionist tactics to prevent former President Obama from properly nominating a court justice. President Trump, on the other hand, has already nominated a justice: Judge Neil Gorsuch. The case, being a landmark one for transgender rights and equality, is more than likely being stalled so that a full nine-judge court can rule on it.

In all, it’s a disappointing detour for the case. Many still hold out hope for a proper ruling from SCOTUS, and it is still indeed a possibility. We’ll just have to wait it out a little bit longer.

(via The Washington Postimage via Flickr/Geoff Livingston)


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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (, and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters ( She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.