As Vice President Joe Biden might say, this is a "big fuckin' deal."
A federal judge ruled that a transgender student in Virginia could not sue his school for discrimination for barring him from using the boy's restroom, but the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in D.C. has overturned the ruling.
Grimm was born female but identifies as male. He was allowed to use the boys' restrooms at the school for several weeks in 2014. But after some parents complained, the school board adopted a policy requiring students to use either the restroom that corresponds with their biological gender or a private, single-stall restroom.
Grimm called the policy stigmatizing. School officials said the policy respects the privacy of all students.
There are much bigger implications than simply one student's right to sue, however, because the 4th Circuit apparently agrees with the Department of Justice which filed a brief on the student's behalf last year arguing that Title IX applies to gender identity.
The 4th Circuit evidently did not buy the argument that the policy "respects the privacy of all students" and this is very important because the state of North Carolina is under the jurisdiction of the 4th Circuit.
North Carolina's anti-transgender "bathroom bill" HB2 will have its day in court but the 4th Circuit has already effectively telegraphed that it will be struck down in their courtroom if it reaches that point. As you probably recall, Governor McCrory also argued that HB2 is about "privacy."
The threat of violating Title IX and losing billions of dollars of federal funding while opening up the state to numerous lawsuits was enough to persuade other governors -- Republican governors -- not to sign similar anti-transgender legislation, but North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R) did not have that good sense.