Appeals Court Upholds School Policy On Transgender Rights

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

We've seen plenty of anti-transgender policies get knocked down in court in recent years, but a federal appeals court has now upheld a pro-transgender policy.

The Third Circuit of Appeals in Philadelphia has ruled in favor of the Boyertown Area School District's policy of allowing transgender students to use an appropriate bathroom.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

It took less than 20 minutes for a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia to unanimously reject arguments made by a conservative legal organization representing six students, who sued the district last year saying they felt uncomfortable after spotting transgender teens using the restrooms of their choice.

Speaking from the bench, Circuit Judge Theodore McKee said the suing students had failed to show that the district’s policy infringed upon their rights to “bodily privacy” or caused them irreparable harm.

The judges quickly ruled against the challenge brought by students (or more likely their bigoted parents) but their full opinion and legal rationale will not be available for some time.

With that said, I think we can see where this is going based on the words of Judge Theodore McKee.

The court seemed to have little sympathy for Wenger’s claim that the district’s policy violated his clients’ privacy rights. McKee, in particular, balked at the lawyer’s plea to return the high school to its status quo.

You could have come in here during Brown v. Board of Education and said, ‘Let’s go back to the status quo,’” said McKee, who is African American, referencing the landmark Supreme Court decision that struck down racial segregation policies in public schools. “These types of cases wouldn’t happen if the answer was always, ‘Go back to the status quo.’”

If you're arguing against transgender rights (or anyone's rights) and a federal judge compares you directly to racial segregation, I think it's time to hang it up.