The Supreme Court on Wednesday put on hold an order that allowed transgender student Gavin Grimm in Virginia to access school restrooms that align with his gender identity while the Court decides whether to take the case.
The justices split 5 to 3 on whether to block the order, with Justice Stephen Breyer joining the conservatives on the Court. Breyer wrote he granted the stay as a “courtesy,” given the Court is in recess. Doing so, Breyer wrote, “will preserve the status quo.”
Grimm sued the Gloucester County School Board in 2015 after the board passed a policy that mandates students to use bathrooms that match their biological sex, rather than their gender identity. Grimm argued the policy violated Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972, a federal law prohibiting sex-based discrimination at schools that receive federal funding.
The Obama administration sided with Grimm, filing a friend of court briefing arguing the Gloucester County Board’s policy violated Title IX.
Both the federal district court and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Grimm and ordered the board to lift its policy for Grimm.
The result of Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision means that the school board’s policy remains in place until the Court decides whether to take the case. Should the Court’s deliberation extend into the school year, Grimm would be forced to use a restroom based on his biological sex.