A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania federal judge rules transgender students can use bathroom of choice

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] on Monday in favor of three transgender students at Pine-Richland High School [official website] and ordered the school district to allow students to use the bathroom of their choice. Judge Mark Hornak granted a preliminary injunction to the students as they sought to stop the school district's new policy that was adopted in September to provide sex-specific bathrooms or single-user bathrooms. The complaint [text, PDF] alleged a violation of the students' civil rights. Hornak ruled that the students had a reasonable claim under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment but not on a Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 claim at this time.

Anti-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity has been a controversial issue in recent months. North Carolina has been of particular focus due to their so-called "bathroom bill" (HB2) [text, PDF] that requires transgender people to use public bathrooms according to the sex listed on their birth certificate. Earlier this week North Carolina lawmakers filed [JURIST report] a bipartisan bill aimed at breaking the impasse over the bill. Also this week, the US Supreme Court asked [JURIST report] both sides of the Gloucester County School Board case to submit letters discussing how the case should proceed in light of the Trump administration's revocation of the Obama-era guidance on school transgender bathroom policies.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.